Volcano raises new island south of Japan

2013-11-21 09:15
White smoke rising from a newly born submarine volcano near Ogasawara islands, 1 000km south of Tokyo. (Japan Coast Guard, AFP)

White smoke rising from a newly born submarine volcano near Ogasawara islands, 1 000km south of Tokyo. (Japan Coast Guard, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - A volcanic eruption has raised an island in the seas to the far south of Tokyo, the Japanese coast guard and earthquake experts said.

Advisories from the coast guard and the Japan Meteorological Agency said the islet is about 200m in diameter. It is just off the coast of Nishinoshima, a small, uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain, which is also known as the Bonin Islands.

The approximately 30 islands are 1 000km south of Tokyo, and along with the rest of Japan are part of the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire".

The coast guard issued an advisory on Wednesday warning of heavy black smoke from the eruption. Television footage seen on Thursday showed heavy smoke, ash and rocks exploding from the crater, as steam billowed into the sky.

Lucrative resources

A volcanologist with the coast guard, Hiroshi Ito, told the FNN news network that it was possible the new island might be eroded away.

"But it also could remain permanently," he said.

The last time the volcanoes in the area are known to have erupted was in the mid-1970s. Much of the volcanic activity occurs under the sea, which extends thousands of meters deep along the Izu-Ogasawara-Marianas Trench.

Japan's chief government spokesperson welcomed the news of yet another bit, however tiny, of new territory.

"This has happened before and in some cases the islands disappeared," Yoshihide Suga said when asked if the government was planning on naming the new island.

"If it becomes a full-fledged island, we would be happy to have more territory."

The Japanese archipelago has thousands of islands. In some cases, they help anchor claims to wide expanses of ocean overlying potentially lucrative energy and mineral resources.

Japan has plans to build port facilities and transplant fast-growing coral fragments onto Okinotorishima, two rocky outcroppings even further south of Tokyo, to boost its claim in a territorial dispute with China.


Read more on:    japan  |  volcanoes
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.