When you think of Japan as it is today, you most likely think of a busy metropolis like Tokyo, fishing villages, or traditional Shinto forest shrines. And despite Fuji, the most iconic Japanese mountain being a volcano, you’re most likely not thinking about erupting lava and smoke as a common occurrence on the archipelago. Well, you should, as active volcanoes are a huge part of Japan’s day to day life, as shown by the fact that Japan’s Sakurajima volcano erupted without hurting anyone.
Sakurajima’s temper tantrum
One of the most active volcanoes in the country, Sakurajima erupted a couple of days ago, spewing jets of smoke a mile up into the sky, and letting thick tendrils of lava flow down its picturesque slopes. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the volcano is about 30 miles away from a nuclear power plant?
Yes, the active volcano is only 30 miles away from a fully functioning nuclear power plant, which would spell disaster if the two of them were to ever interact. However, despite all the chances that something might have gone wrong, nothing happened and nobody was hurt.
Indeed, absolutely nobody was hurt during or after the eruption, and not even the power plant had its schedule disturbed or modified after the occurrence. Even a Kyoto University volcanologist predicted no serious effects to come from the eruption, despite them team monitoring the volcanic activity for the next couple of months.
However, local authorities have sealed off the area, making a 1.2 mile radius inaccessible to the public. This is because of potential fires that could start in the area, or even a possible yet unlikely secondary eruption.
Japan could fall into Pacific’s Ring of Fire
As you may or may not know, depending on your knowledge of geography and/or how much attention you paid to the header above, Japan is situated in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire – over 100 active volcanoes spanning the entire archipelago.
The portion of ocean where the Japanese islands are located is filled with a string of volcanic arcs and belts, plate movements, and ocean trenches, threatening to pulverize or at least fling away the human inhabited islands nearby. However, as they managed to last there so far, it’s unlikely that anything that drastic will happen anytime soon.
Multiple volcanoes erupted all over Japan over the past couple of years, most ending with no victims at all, despite huge eruptions, much bigger than the recent Sakurajima one.
Image source: Wikimedia