FunJapan: An underwater volcano makes a new island emerge

Japan: An underwater volcano makes a new island emerge

The Fukutoka-Okanoba volcano began to have an unusual movement last week. Its activity led to the Japanese authorities being on alert to control this dormant volcano for years. This underwater volcanic activity left a shocking image for researchers: a new island of Japan appeared in the sea.

Although the Japanese authorities warn that this new island that appeared in the sea in the shape of a moon may only be temporary, it has already been baptized as Niijima. The phenomenon occurred after the volcano erupted giving rise to this new island 5 kilometers north of Minami-Ioto, within the Nanpó islands, in the south of the country.

The Coast Guard was the one that reported the phenomenon, and issued a warning to the ships that sail in the area, since the volcanic activity may extend for several weeks. Even the Japanese Coast Guard does not rule out that, as a result of these movements under the sea, more islands will emerge that remain hidden in the water.

More than 1,000 kilometers from Tokyo

“Due to the eruption, there is still material in suspension – pumice stone, etc.- at 60 kilometers in a northwesterly direction,” the Japan Meteorological Agency explained in a statement that warned of the risk of large “volcanic bombs” and “violent eruptions of gas and ash”.

According to experts, whether or not the new island of Japan survives will largely depend on the duration of the eruptions of the Fukutoka-Okanoba volcano and what types of rocks will cover the island. If the movement continues constant as before, the lava flows could provide a necessary coating for Niijima to survive above seawater.

It’s not the first time

The appearance of new islands off the coast of Japan is not of now. In 2013, another volcanic eruption floated a block of rocks, an island that, due to its proximity to Nishinoshima, eventually merged with it.

Previously, the Japanese authorities have evidence of island creations on three more occasions: in 1904, when the volcano began to function for the first time; ten years later, in 1914; and in 1986. On these three occasions the newly emerged islands were once again covered by the water of the Japanese sea.

Only the time of the next few weeks will tell if this new island of Japan resists and becomes a new place belonging to the country of the Rising Sun.


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