Thursday, July 07, 2005

Underwater volcano eruption off Japan's coast

A volcano has erupted underwater near the Pacific island of Iwo Jima off the coast of Japan, sending a column of steam rising a kilometre into the air.

The Japanese Coast Guard sent a plane to investigate, according to reports, after Defence officials reported that the surface of the water appeared red in the region of the steam column.
Larger eruptions in the area have been recorded three times in the last 100 years, each eruption large enough to form a new, but quite small, island, according to a paper from the American Geophysical Union.

More than 30 smaller eruptions, apparently similar to this one, have been recorded in the period. Most recently the volcano, Fukutokuoka-no-ba, erupted in 1986. The eruption lasted for three days.

The Japanese Coast Guard issued a warning to international vessels, advising them to steer clear of the area. Meanwhile, the Japanese Metrological agency said there was no danger of the eruption causing a tsunami.

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