Experts discuss evacuation plan in the event of Mt Fuji eruption

TOKYO —

A meeting of disaster prevention experts have recommended drawing up a plan to evacuate those who would be affected by an eruption of Mount Fuji.

Specialists from Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures held a conference on Friday at which they agreed to draw up a plan for sheltering people who may be affected by a potential eruption of the 3,776-meter-high mountain and to perform a test run of the procedure by 2014, TBS reported.

The plan is to include evacuation methods and routes for residents and tourists in the event of an eruption. Each team is to reflect on the efficacy of current arrangements and report back to the council at the next meeting, which is scheduled to take place in late April 2013 in Yamanashi Prefecture, TBS said.

Also in attendance at the conference were volcano experts who spoke on the subjects of Mount Fuji’s history, the reliability of volcanic eruption predictions and the likely characteristics of an eruption.

Prof Toshitsugu Fujii of the University of Tokyo Earthquake Research Institute said last year’s March 11 earthquake transformed the Earth’s crust in the region and another earthquake is expected to hit in the Nankai trough, TBS reported. He was quoted as saying there is a high probability that this tectonic activity will cause Mount Fuji to become more active.

A survey carried out by the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute in May found a 30-km fault running from Gotemba in Shizuoka Prefecture beneath Mount Fuji. Research results indicated it is likely to be active.

If the fault sets off an earthquake, researchers say the slopes would most likely collapse, causing massive landslides and mudflows.

An earthquake in 1707 caused Mount Fuji to erupt and killed an estimated 20,000 people.

Japan Today

  • -2

    susieuk

    evacuate those who would be affected by an eruption of Mount Fuji

    let me think, hum? would that be everyone in tokyo? and just tell them to "run the OTHER WAY, AWAY FROM mount fuji."

  • 4

    Cricky

    There is no plan? 2012 . Guess it is time to "reflect" on this. Hope nothing regrettable happens before 2014, or whenever their reflections become a coherent plan.

  • 2

    allstar8787

    They're only just now drawing out an evacuation plan!!?... Thank God I've already been there and done it!

  • 3

    waltery

    It's a tourism promo ploy! Come see Fugi before it goes pop!

  • -2

    tmarie

    I don't know why I thought they'd have a plan in place. Clearly that was foolish of me. Just unreal.

  • 0

    gaijinfo

    Sounds like one big Charlie Foxtrot. But these government goofs love to have their two year long planning meetings.

  • 15

    Harry_Gatto

    Maybe the article doesn't make it clear enough for you all to understand; there are current arrangements in place, the article mentions this. However, in light of the discovery of another fault and the effect of the Mar 2011 earthquake on the earth's crust, the predictions about the consequences of an eruption and/or major earthquake in the area have changed making a rethink necessary.

    Landslides and mudflows will not reach Tokyo but there is real danger from ash, lots of it.

  • 0

    wanderlust

    Worried about budget cuts, or the money towards NPPs and earthquakes?

    They are supposed to have a monitoring station for volcanic activity, it's a little more predicatble than earthquakes.

  • -1

    Christopher Blackwell

    In case of eruption, stay calm an wait for orders from your government. Or scream and yell and run in the other direction. See it is simple. [Grin]

  • -8

    David Quintero Navarro

    Wow! If I was one of them JWs I would be sure it was not only the end of Japan but of the entire world!!!! Repent you sinners!! Repent!! LOL!!

  • 5

    zichi

    The smoke and ash would block out the sun and cancel all flights in and out of the country. Another active volcano, Mount Asama in Nagano isn't that far from Mount Fuji. At Mount Asama people can't live within a certain distance, but can still farm. I'm not sure the same applies around Mount Fuji. Another active volcano is Mount Yakedake in Kamikochi, Nagano. Major eruption in 1915, and many small eruptions since.

    Japan is a very fragile balance of nature and forces.

  • 1

    Scotman

    By the time it goes up there will only be a handful of people living on these islands by current population predictions. I think all ten Tokyo residents will manage an orderly evacuation.

  • 1

    my2sense

    Bob Marley's Exodus tune on speakers and ojisans with orange wand sticks...like a Krispy Kreme line going south- organized chaos - the Japanese are the best. Case closed. Not much you can do really but run.

  • 3

    kwatt

    I've never climbed up Mt. fuji. It is better for everyone to go up soon before its eruption. Mt. Fuji is now very beautiful but might be an ugly mountain after big eruption.

  • 0

    tmarie

    Don't forget the one in Kagoshima which has been spewing for years now. Been bad this past month!

  • -3

    choiwaruoyaji

    I think a huge earthquake will hit the Tokyo or somewhere in the Kanto region in the very near future and this will trigger an eruption of Mt. Fuji.

    The earthquake could happen this summer, with the subsequent eruption in the autumn or winter.

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    The earthquake could happen this summer, with the subsequent eruption in the autumn or winter.

    @choiwaruoyaji

    Why? Any scientific evidence to back that up? . Please tell us. Thank you.

  • 2

    cleo

    There was an interesting programme on NHK last night that explained how every magnitude 9 earthquake in recent history has been followed within a few years by major volcanic activity. It explained how the changes in the earth's crust allowed magma that had been kept in check to rise quickly to the surface and cause an eruption. It described the worst-case scenario, which included enough ash from Mt Fuji falling on Tokyo to collapse buildings. Pretty scary, but not sensationalist.

  • -2

    avigator

    globalwatcher, type garagegames.com in your web browser, leave a space, and type earthquake or tokai earthquake. The first website should be the forum from Garagegames, (Mr. Britton Laroche), where he discusses the possibility of a Tokai earthquake this summer. Use it for whatever purpose it may serve. I just found it while surfing the net about the possibility of a future earthquake near Mt Fuji.

  • 1

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    If or when it does happen, the best way to evacuate will probably be by ship or ferry.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    Thank you everyone. I've got more information than I expected. I went to Japan for Tohoku rescue mission twice in the past two years. I witnessed people's suffering and pain beyond my comprehension. I have been very frustrated. You are always in my prayers.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    Correction, I left for Japan on 3/20/11 and went back there January this year. I have been told incorrectly that there is NO volcanic activities of Mt. Fuji. This is a huge surprise to me. Pray for Japan.

  • 3

    Phred Smith

    either the japanese authorities didn't choose their words carefully or something got lost in translation. I would think the Japanese would be "updating" their plans not "drawing up" new plans since fujisama has been considered a sleeping volcano by volcanologists for a very long time. hopefully fuji sleeps for a very long time, but we all know these things are very difficult to predict.

  • 0

    wanderlust

    Surprised that none of these 'disaster prevention experts' have ever been asked to help with evacuation plans for radiation leaks from Nuclear Power Plants? Or advise on fault lines before they were constructed. In fact, never even heard of disaster prevention experts here before, must be quite a low profile job.

  • 0

    Vernie Jefferies

    I am going to hike up the trail at Fuji at the end of next month. I don't feel there will be any danger there anytime soon.

  • 1

    Jack Stern

    With tsunami, earthquakes and now Mt. Fuji possibly blowing its top all over Kanto, is a near earth object heading this way, too?

  • 0

    Thunderbird2

    You know, I can see some people wandering around with "End of the World is Nigh" in Japanese on sandwich boards, lol.

    I suppose the only way some people will be happy is if a) Fuji erupts, b) the Kanto earthquake happens and/or c) Japan sinks. That way they can shout "I told you so!" as they sink into their own cesspit of doom.

    Live for today, and stop looking over your shoulder all the time.

  • 0

    Uwe Paschen

    Well,there are evacuation plans in place today. However, in light of recent disasters all such plans are being reviewed and new once are being drawn up and this mainly because the last major earthquake cause many drastic changes in the stress levels on the fault lines. This is also affecting Mount Fuji and why some expert thing it may go active again.

  • 0

    Foxie

    Prof. Fujii is doing research on a possible eruption of Mt Fuji. Let's hope it will never happen!

  • 0

    hatsoff

    I rearranged the order of the article's information, and the contrast between the likelihood of something happening and the timeline for contingency plans to actually be confirmed doesn't exactly fill one with confidence, does it?

    ...last year’s March 11 earthquake transformed the Earth’s crust in the region and another earthquake is expected to hit in the Nankai trough ... there is a high probability that this tectonic activity will cause Mount Fuji to become more active.

    A survey carried out by the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute in May found a 30-km fault running from Gotemba in Shizuoka Prefecture beneath Mount Fuji. Research results indicated it is likely to be active.

    If the fault sets off an earthquake, researchers say the slopes would most likely collapse, causing massive landslides and mudflows

    Each team is to reflect on the efficacy of current arrangements and report back ... in late April 2013

    Specialists ... agreed to draw up a plan for sheltering people ... and to perform a test run of the procedure by 2014

  • -1

    nandakandamanda

    They had a chance to improve the roads around Mt Fuji when the F1 Grand Prix were held there. Sadly they are still either long, winding S-shaped roads, or small country roads with many traffic lights, easily overloaded and overcrowded. You would never be able to beat a pyroclastic flow the way things are, even in the fastest sports car.

    Let's hope the committee will address how to avoid the instant traffic jams that would develop at the first signs of eruption. Special override button, so all down-hill lights instantly green, for example?

  • 0

    just-a-bigguy

    In recent days the earthquake in Taiwan were very active, so I think a massive earthquake is imminent in the pacific area. But the Fuji has been dead for 300 years, if it does erupted, the destructive power and energy stored in the last three centuries released to the air and the amount of ashes must beyond imaginations!

  • 0

    Cos

    I've never climbed up Mt. fuji. It is better for everyone to go up soon before its eruption.

    From the top, you don't see the mount... Well, most days you can't even see your feet. For me that was the most boring hike in Japan, so far. I prefered Mt Aso. And it has erupted.

    Sadly they are still either long, winding S-shaped roads, or small country roads with many traffic lights, easily overloaded and overcrowded.

    They should install a few ski telepherics, with "eggs". That doesn't require so much concrete work as road, and since it's meant to be destroyed....

  • -3

    warnerbro

    What would a sudden surplus of airborne volcanic ash do to nuclear reactors, I wonder. Do any of you think that the reactors' vital systems were designed with that in mind? I didn't think so.

  • 0

    Jerome_from_Utah

    It was Japanese records that confirmed our monster quake in 1700 caused by the Cascadian Fault and confirmed the exact day of an "orphan tsunami" on the east coast of Honshu. That means there should be fairly accurate records of the type and size of the Fuji eruption. Was it an explosive ash outburst like Mt. Saint Helens and Pinatubo or a big gush of lava such as the Hawaiian volcanoes? They have both kinds on Iceland, by the way. Anybody know?

  • -2

    Aqualung

    Clearly the end is near. Depending on your faith, it's either time to repent or time to start having fun.

  • 1

    Blair Herron

    Clearly the end is near

    What end?

    According to 古記録(kokiroku), 日本三大実録(nihon sandai jitsuroku), and others, there was an eruption of Mt. Fuji in…

    781, 800 (March 14-April 18 Enryaku eruption), 802, 864 (Jogan eruption), 937, 999, 1033, 1083, 1435, 1707 (December 16 Hoei eruption)

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%AF%8C%E5%A3%AB%E5%B1%B1%E3%81%AE%E5%99%B4%E7%81%AB%E5%8F%B2

    There was an interesting programme on NHK last night that explained how every magnitude 9 earthquake in recent history has been followed within a few years by major volcanic activity.

    I watched that, too. (MEGAQUAKE II-3) It was very interesting.

    http://www.nhk.or.jp/special/megaquake2/schedule.html

    @choiwaruoyaji Why? Any scientific evidence to back that up? . Please tell us. Thank you.

    He/She often says that kind of thing because he/she is "choiwaru" hahaha (^0^)

  • 0

    JapanGal

    @Cleo

    There was an interesting program me on NHK last night that explained how every magnitude 9 earthquake in recent history has been followed within a few years by major volcanic activity.

    How many magnitude 9 and above around the world in modern times?

    Not enough stats to make conclusions.

  • -1

    Cletus

    JapanGal

    "There was an interesting program me on NHK last night that explained how every magnitude 9 earthquake in recent history has been followed within a few years by major volcanic activity."

    How many magnitude 9 and above around the world in modern times? Not enough stats to make conclusions.

    Maybe you should read this site, as it gives a bit more detail as to the findings and colleration between earthquakes and volcano eruptions in the years following a major earthquake.

    http://www.volcanotectonics.de/reprints/Walter&Amelung_Geology2007.pdf

  • 2

    Uwe Paschen

    Japanese are rather well trained when it comes to knowing what to do and how to behave in a Natural Disaster. Further, by nature or due to the culture they remain rather quiet and in control of their emotions when such disaster hits. I witnessed this first hand last year when we where hit by the great earthquake and tsunami. To my amazement even the eight year olds followed the procedures that they where thought and this without a single tear or any confusion. The fear could be seen in some of them, but they did exactly what they where supposed to do. After, once things came under control some of those kids shed some tears and worried about their parents and friends. Japan is well prepared as is and the people are amazingly calm. There was no looting no break ins or vandalism after last years disaster. In New York as they lost power for a night a few years ago, hell broke lose and some people where looting, and worse. even in Tokyo one of the world biggest cities all remained calm even though there was no power, no trains or subways running. We can learn a few things from Japan when it comes to decent behavior and remaining calm in the face of disasters.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    This current discussion about Fuji-san came about after they became concerned a serious eathquake under the volcano could cause it to do a "Mt. St. Helens" and have a large part break loose and slide down the sive of the cone. If it exposes the magma pool, the sudden reduction in pressure could cause a massive explosion of magma and rock. Most people wouldn't even have TIME to evacuate. That kind of eruption gives no warning to vulcanologists.

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