Friday, November 13, 2015

Just a matter of time for a very large eruption

Fourth: The 1,592-metre Mount Aso on the southern main island of Kyushu, 200 km southwest of Tokyo, is fourth on the list
A volcano on the Japanese Island of Iwo Jima has been revealed as the world's most dangerous.

Volcanologists said it was just a matter of time for a very large eruption and when it blows, a 25 metre high tsunami could devastate southern Japan and coastal China including Shanghai and Hong Kong.

University of Manchester has come up with a list of the top ten most dangerous volcanoes in the world which are in danger of erupting.

These have a realistic chance of erupting in the next 100 years and which risk causing the deaths of 1,000,000 people or more.

The list published as a series of blogs on the Volcano cafe website aims to highlight those volcanoes that are not studied very well but could pose a big threat to regional and world stability, should they erupt.

While most are dotted around the world, one is closer to home.

Two thousand years ago Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii but today a far more deadly supervolcano Campei Flegrei lurks on the other side of Naples.

Although it erupts less frequently than Vesuvius, it is much closer to Naples, home to 4.4 million people and poses a greater threat.

Professor Albert Zijlstra said: "There are parts of the world where monitoring of volcanoes is very poor, and many of these poorly watched volcanoes are close to populated areas.

"The last time such a list was made was 25 years ago and that list mainly included volcanoes that are accessible to study in developed countries.

"Our new list looks all over the world, including in less developed countries.

"We have created this list to try to highlight the need for better monitoring and preparedness in many areas of the world.

"There hasn't been a major eruption for 200 years, since Tambora in 1815 - 'the year without summer', and there has never been a large eruption in a modern, developed country.

Ninth: The Mayon volcano in the Philippines just crept in the top ten
"There is a chance of perhaps one in three that there will such an eruption this century.

Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia was the most powerful ever recorded eruption and caused significant climate change.

Now scientists said it was only a matter of time until the island of Iwo Jima , where the iconic picture of US Marines raising the stars and stripes in victory was taken, blows.

It is about twenty metres higher than it was in 1945 due to a growing magma chamber underneath and the beach where the American forces landed in 1945 is now 17 meters above the ocean surface.

The island has been pushed up by one metre every four years since several hundred years.

When a large erpution happens, a tsunami 25 metres high could devastate southern Japan and coastal China including Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The eruption of the similar sized Kuwae volcano in Vanuatu in 1458 caused a tsunami 30 meters high in northern New Zealand, and lead to the cultural collapse of Polynesia.

The second deadliest volcano is Apoyeque in Nicaragua, next to capital Managua and a two million population.

Apoyeque has the threat of an underwater eruption, which could cause a large lake tsunami, as well as the danger posed by the eruption itself.

It has had major eruptions every 2,000 years and the last one was 2,000 years ago.

Other volcanoes in the list are in Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, and Cameroon.

Former Swedish Army major and keen amateur volcanologist Henrik Lovën who helps run the Volcano Cafe site said: "We want to raise awareness that there are many volcanoes that could erupt and that are not being monitored properly.

"Hopefully the people who live near the volcanoes in this list will get more help to help them prepare for an eruption."

The full top ten

1 Iwo Jima, Japan 
2 Chiltepe/Apoyeque, Nicaragua. 
3 Campei Flegrei, Italy.
4 Mount Aso, Japan which threatens Kumamoto and Nagasaki 
5 Trans Mexico Volcanic Belt, Mexico threatening Mexico City, Pueblo, and Toluca 
6 Gunung Agung, Indonesia threatening Bali 
7 Mount Cameroon threatening Buea and Douala 
8 Taal, Philippines threatening Manilla 
9 Mayon, Philippines threatening Legazpi 
10 Gunung Kelud, Indonesia threatening Malang
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