Friday, September 7, 2012
Experts warn Mount Fuji is dangerously close to erupting
Japanese scientists are warning that the country's famed Mount Fuji could be on the verge of a catastrophic eruption. Volcanologists have discovered that the pressure in the volcano's magma chamber is higher than it was the last time Fuji erupted in 1707. The pressure is measured in megapascals, and researchers say recent readings show the chamber hitting a level of 1.6; pressure readings of 0.1 megapascals are enough to trigger an eruption. Scientists say the March 2011 earthquake that caused a massive tsunami has been one factor in putting increased pressure on the chamber. Government estimates say an eruption could result in more than 300,000 deaths as well as cause up to $30 billion in damage.