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Massive volcanic eruption at Mount Aso disrupts air traffic, no human casualties


A volcanic eruption in Mount Aso, southern Japan, has caused massive disruptions of air flights in and around the area due to huge ash blown sky-high, the first of such in a 22-year period.

Hundreds of air flights have been cancelled, and many others disrupted in Southern Japan as a result of a massive volcanic eruption in Mount Aso, the first to happen within 22 years. The Mount Aso volcano caused massive dusts and ash to cover the sky, moving further afield as much as 1 km to surrounding towns and villages.

Due to any loss of lives and property that could arise from the natural incident, the authorities have warned people to stay clear of the source of the eruptions. It should be recalled that a similar eruption occurred in late September in the Mount Ontake area of Nagano, west of Tokyo where over 50 people lost their lives. Although most of those that lost their lives in the Mount Ontake incident were either bikers or people attracted to their activities, the authorities does not want a repeat of such incident and so bid people to clear away from the Mount Aso crater.

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that overwhelming debris and smoke plummet high into the skies, shooting hot ash as high as 1 km or 3,280 feet up above; causing poor visibility and the need to cancel air flights from Kumamoto, the nearest city to the spot.


The meteorological agency does not think that the rate of eruptions can increase or worsen over time, but knowing that seismic activity and earthquakes have emanated from this point since August, the authorities are aware of the fact that Mount Aso is one of the world’s largest and most active volcanoes. It is about 1,000 km or 625 miles southwest of Tokyo on the Kyushu Island.


Researchers from Kobe University are of the thought that Mount Aso qualifies to be one of the largest calderas in the world due to its width of 25 km north-south and 18 km east-west size; and it was a result of the four caldera eruptions that happened some 90,000 to 300,000 years ago. Scientists believe there is a 1% chance of such large magnitude eruptions occurring today in 100 years, but if it ever does, it the molten lava and ash and rock might sack 7 million people from their homes within a space of 2 hours.

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