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Active fault may run beneath Mount Fuji, say researchers

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Another fault found under Japan. I think that they're quite common under mountains.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Well, color me surprised!!! Earthquakes and volcanoes have things in common?! Who woul've thought.

If that thing wakes up, triggered by, or itself triggering an earthquake, it might be pretty tough living around there.

4 ( +6 / -3 )

Solid and scientific reason not to list Mt. Fuji in World Heritage Sites.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Im a terrible person. The first thing that popped into my head was "change the shape of Fuji? NOOOOOO!!!"

Other than that - good call tairitsuiken.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You mean everyone is surprised about this?

Amazing, the talking heads on TV are wondering why the scientists didn't notice it.

The false pride in Japanese engineering and science is the really astonishing thing.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Funny how no one cared until March 2011..

4 ( +10 / -6 )

How is this a surprise? That said, do they know something they are not telling us? Is this fault showing signs of shifting, or is pressure building up inside Fuji?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds like a slow news day story. As if all of this island was not criss-crossed by fault lines...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mt. Fuji is overdue for an eruption. Glad I don't live on that side of Tokyo. Will get a good view of it from Ichikawa though.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

There's plenty of "fault" to go around in Japan. Just look down where you're standing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Where isn't there a fault...

Haha... could change the shape of the holy Mnt. Fuji!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I've never quite understand why we group ourselves around the most dangerous places in the world: be it around Mt. Fuji, on coasts where tsunamis are known to hit or will most certainly hit, on the San Andreas fault... Anyway, it's no surprise that there's a fault below Mt. Fuji, and sad to say SOME day in the future -- hopefully very distant -- like it or not that fault will cause a major quake and it will be disastrous for Mt. Fuji and the area. Can't stop the plates from moving, nor can we stop the faults from generating quakes.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Faults build volcanoes !!!! Duh

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Paulinusa, good one! I personally think there's too much faultfinding going around these days, here, there, and everywhere.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

'may be' 'could' 'if'

They should not make these announcements unless they're sure. Big story on the news this morning, interviews with the local governments with them saying they have to redo all their risk maps. It's filled in and covered with volcanic ash, which is why it hasn't been found until now.

The Tohoku quake was a 9. There have been four so far in recorded quake history...so now that one happened to occur near Japan, it's time to throw everyone into total panic? What crap. Because of this statistically unlikely, rare, seismic event every quake parameter in Japan has been ramped up. 'In light of the Tohoku quake it is now thought that Tokyo may suffer a 7 kyou quake' the reasoning on raising the level of expected quakes because of a freak event doesn't make much sense to me, it's fear-mongering and sensationalist journalism. The Tonankai has never been a 9, but they are "predicting" a 9 with 40 foot tsunami.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

NEWS FLASH a volcano is resting over a crack in the earth

-2 ( +1 / -2 )

Himajin, Actually there has been some high magnitude quakes recording off the east coast over the years. 9 was the biggest, but there has been some 8's and over in that region. And there has been some quakes as big as 8.6 in the Nankai region.

Tokyo Bay has suffered a couple, not including the Kanto Quake, and the predicted 7 is fair.

There is no fear-mongering here. Earthquakes have a history of repeating themselves, believe it or not. To add, quakes seem to be getting bigger; big quakes are turning into mega quakes.

All of Japan was caught off-guard and it's important to be aware of the potential dangers that an earthquake will produce. To disregard that as "fear-mongering" is just pure ignorance.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Gee a major volcano exists on an active earthquake fault. Who woud have thought that? Why is that a surprised? Don't volcanos and earthquake faults sort of go together? Somehow I think that it could happen and change the shape of Mt. Fuji is sort of a given. Volcanic periods come and go. As I remember we have been seeing some active volcanos in Japan in the last year or so. So indeed it might be time to consider what to do if Mt Fuj and other volcanos wake up. Ask some Questions. How much warning is likely and how many people can move once the warning is given? What kind of erruption is possible? If an explosive one, than the people can just do theri prayers and prepare to die. A slower one would give them time to evacuate. Now the next big questions, where do you put the millions of people in the Tokyo area while you wait for things to quiet down? How do you feed them, provide them with water, and how do you handle the sanitation. Anyone have any plans for how to do that? How are the communication between the government and local governments? We saw a problem with that in the last diaster. How has it changed? After Mt. Fuji errupts will be a bit late to figure out what to do. How about creating a new city or several new cities in less disaster prone areas, say within the next 75 years? That might be doable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To disregard that as "fear-mongering" is just pure ignorance.

Thank you. I think basing prediction on something that 'might be' or 'could be' possible is irresponsible. The final verdict isn't in on this newly discovered fault and already they were predicting a drop in tourism to the area because of it.

There have been 5 recorded quakes of M9 ( I had forgotten the one in Russia (1952). 9's are not all that common, taken in proportion to the total quakes in the time period these were recorded.

'We have to increase the upper magnitude prediction of every quake in Japan because a 9 occurred' is not logical. They started banging this drum a year ago April, before that such predictions were not being made. Has quake prediction technology increased that much in one year, or is the government engaging in CYA upping of the limits? The predictions for every recurring major quake in Japan has been raised on the basis of a relatively rare 9.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is a "fault line" and that's why it was a bad judgement call to built nuclear power plants instead of researching and investing in safe and clean energies.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A fault line undeer an atomic power plant, like the TEPCO one in Niigata is more worrying.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I remember many years back when some scientist showed clues of volcanic activity on Mt. Fuji and said something about the possibility of it erupting again. He was bashed from all people. Other scientists, local residents, shopkeepers, tourist spots, etc. Now, we get all the worrisome news whoever can dig up, and we have to be prepared for everything. What a world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Himajin, with your logic, should we not do anything unless we're sure? Or is it just this case that bothers you? Maybe they shouldn't have built tsunami protection walls either? Maybe they shouldn't have funded earthquake and tsunami warning systems? They weren't sure when and where this would happen, if at all. I think it is reasonable to assume that, since Fuji is on top of this fault line, things WILL happen in the future.

An M9 earhtquake in a densely populated area will have a disastrous effect so what's the harm in enlightening people about that? People won't leave the area just because of that but they might be better prepared and that can't be bad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

smithinjapan : I've never quite understand why we group ourselves around the most dangerous places in the world

near ocean / volcanoes / river mouth etc are where the best soil / fishing areas are so most towns started in places like this.

building nukes on or near these major faults is the real thing I can not understand

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Got to be happy that the Government now recognizes a fault. Won't change anything but it FEELS nice they know disaster is on the cards! Now they know what to ignore...again. Maybe suicidal people's can move closer to the mountain saves concern or care.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Himajin, with your logic, should we not do anything unless we're sure? Or is it just this case that bothers you?

Preliminary reporting based on 'maybe' and 'could' is irresponsible.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They must have guessed it was there before, but it is only in the post-3/11 atmosphere that all the doom and gloom scenarios can be rolled out and published openly. "Quick, while everyone else is doing it!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am with JapanGal....DUH! How do they think Mt Fuji got there in the first place?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The false pride in Japanese engineering and science is the really astonishing thing.

Right on! I mean who's dumb idea was it to build a mountain there?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Faults build volcanoes !!!! Duh

@JapanGal

OK, what fault is under Hawaii? Wait, there isn't one. I guess YOU'RE WRONG.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fault? Whose fault? It must be the fault of "Ring of Fire." "Get real," as they say in the USA., and try to avoid a catastrophe such as the great tsunami by having a government that can react to any disaster rather than doing feel good legislation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JapanGal @madammika

Regarding the formation of volcanoes: "The Hawaiian volcanoes were produced by the Hawaiian hot spot, which is presently under the Big Island of Hawaii." http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/HCV/haw_formation.html

"Hot spots" are not faults. Volcanoes are not only formed by faults. So, until now, Mt. Fuji was thought to be on a hot spot. Now we know there is a fault under Mt. Fuji, as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

JapanGal, actually, there are more ways to get a volcano and a fault right under one would be my last guess. Number one is a subduction fault on one side. This is how most of the volcanoes on the American West Coast are formed when one plate slides under the other and the hot stuff pops out of the middle, like Mount St. Helens. Hot spots are another way and the Hawaiian Islands are an excellent example. Yellowstone is a scary example which could change life all over the earth if it blows. The one situation where a fault and volcanoes coexist is a rift such as the mid-Atlantic (Iceland) and East Africa. Has anyone found out what kind of fault exists under Mt. Fuji?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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

I read in other places only 5000 people

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is a "fault line" and that's why it was a bad judgement call to built nuclear power plants instead of researching and investing in safe and clean energies.

Did they have "safe and clean energies" in the 1960s? I think, at that time, nuclear power was perceived as being cleaner than coal and less damaging to the environment than hydroelectric power. There are even those who still maintain (like the electric power companies did back in the 60s) that the nuclear plants were "earthquake proof". The bottom line is: the only way to avoid all the possible natural disasters (including "yellow sand" and radioactive food and water) that afflicts this country is to leave for a safer environment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Disillusioned: Will get a good view of it from Ichikawa though.

Depending on wind direction, you will have a good view..........right up until the ash starts falling. Ash fall from major eruptions can be very heavy hundreds miles away from the actual volcano.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No problem! Now, after we know this,, we can shut down Mt. Fuji, decommission it and save Japan!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@JaneM

No problem! Now, after we know this,, we can shut down Mt. Fuji, decommission it and save Japan!

It is mad comparing volcanoes to nuclear plants! Whereas Japan shall live with the after effects of the fukushima nuclear waste and radiation for hundreds or thousands of years to come, the only inconvenience with a volcano will be displacement. People can still go back after the eruption to more fertile volcanic soils. I think it is approriate to assume that the whole of Japan is on a faulty plate and earthquake prone. This means that with proper leadership, the idea of constructing 54 NPPs to supply electricity on such risky terrrain should not have arisen in the first place

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mt Fuji has been changing shape many times over as depicted in all the ukioe. As for the shape of Mr Fuji, well what you see in Kanto is very different to how others see the mountain from other angles and it is indeed very different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would love to know if the researchers did a damage simulation for another Fuji eruption. I wonder how far the evacuation zone would have to reach from Fuji...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So what is the evacuation plan?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I tend to stay away from news stories that have a "may" included in the title. It is a real time saver.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Rick Kisa,

Sorry for not having a more understandable sense of humor. As far as I remember from my geograpphy classes, volcanic ash becomes fertile only after a very long period of time. It is quite toxic immediately after fallout and remains toxic (or at least highly acidic and therefore unsuitable for the largest variety of crops) for quite some time.

0 ( +3 / -2 )

Quite a few years ago a Japanese friend said that someday Mt. Fuji was expected to blow its top ... much the same way Mt. Aso did in Kyushu centuries ago. So actually Fuji erupting sky high is nothing new ... It's just that yet another fault was found below it, which someone may have known about ages ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is confusing to me as news also because I thought it had been established that a (6.4?) quake occurred under Mt Fuji the day of the tsunami. :?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and yet japan will still continue to endorse its deathtrap as a beautiful tourist site ; jeez

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Run like hell...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@JaneM

As far as I remember from my geograpphy classes, volcanic ash becomes fertile only after a very long period of time

This is wrong dear geography prize-winner! Although volcanoes produce acidc compounds that produce acidic rain, the chemical disturbance to soils is very temporary and may not even affect water bodies. I refer you to this authoritative website on volcanoes and chemical effects http://www.sepa.org.uk/about_us/news/2010/volcanic_ash_cloud.aspx . There are also examples to learn from: We had the iceland volcano 2 years ago that even stopped planes from flying. As soon as eruption stopped, it was business as usual: streets were cleared of ash, the iceland airport was re-opened and people went on with their normal daily lives, including farmers. I actually went there for holiday recently!! And the Fukushima? what has happened one year on? what will happen in a hundred years? In case of doubt, please refer to Chenobyl. Does anybody want to go to Fukushima for holiday one year down the road?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Next conclusion will be that Mt Fuji is not a good place to built a nucleur power plant...?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rick Kisa,

Now you have lost me. First you were talking about fertile land and then you switched to streets and tourism. Sure enough, you can clean streets but it is the agricultural land which is problematic after acidic ash fallout. And, yes, I am one of the people who went to Fukushima on a holiday last autumn. I made the decision for myself and am happy that I did it. I am going there again some time soon. You may think I am crazy but there are many people out there who make informed decisions and try to help others not only by participating in forums and arguing about whatever comes along. Anyway, I am not going to continue this discussion with you as it seems we are talking about different things.

-1 ( +2 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

I'm moving to China.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When the heck are these scientists going to figure out how to stop earthquakes and landslides and tsunamis and tornados and typhoons?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

they are figuring this out now? this is ridiculous, i mean the entirety of Japan practically lives on fault lines, it is what causes them so many destructive earthquakes and severe tsunamis

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@JaneM

Now you have lost me.

I have not lost u. Seems u did not eeven read the link i sent u! You argue that the soils become acidic, which is true but at the end of the day, volcanic soils are good for crops. I informed u that the acidity you talk about is not even harmful to crops, which is true! The visit you are talking about is more of charitable than tourism. Of course I am also thinking to go and contribute something to theJapanese but that is different from tourism and I really thank you for this good gesture you extend to the suffering. I visited Iceland last year for tourism and I enjoyed..despite the volcanic ash problem the previous year, everthing was back to normal. My argument is that we should not compare damage done by volcano to that of nukes. Damage by nukes will live with japanese for thousands of years to come, whereas volcanoes come and go with minimal damage.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@zichi: Are you a japanese scholar or engineering working in the energy sector? Sounds to me you are spreading "nuclear fear" and saying things that could have only been known hindsight, what, 20 years? Those reactors were built and designed by GE when seismology and topography were far less understood, when instruments during that era weren't available. You can say the same about every nuclear plant in the world. The RocketDyne nuclear disaster in Simi Valley is barely known by people who live in California and that 50 years ago and today people around the Calabasas area show an increased cancer rate (due to the burning of the nuclear waste and building debris from the explosion). Yet, the US continued to build nuclear reactors. The truth of the matter is, the people in power don't care about health concerns nor do they think in 50 year time horizons.

It isn't that Japan hasn't invested in clean and alternative energy. The government LIMITS the use of it in the industry BECAUSE they don't want other companies and corporations to take away from the pie. In truth, Japan has the most solar powered technology developed waiting to be used, and from what I have learned from the meetings I had with professors and innovators of Japan's academic institutions, the technology is already ready to deploy. Naysayers will say Japan's too cloudy, not enough sun, etc etc but they are talking out of their asses. The market consideration is that these products will end up being exported and will have to be manufactured outside of Japan (while protecting the technology from transferring to the host nation). Some may say it's too expensive or Japan charges too much, but in truth, it is leading-edge technology and the got have it now for cheap mentality, on top of the Western view that Japanese products are over-engineered, is the root of why Japan's products falter outside of its native soil. Responsible, mature Japanese companies don't live by the got have it now for cheap mentality - they build quality products with 50+year time horizons in mind.

-3 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan is becoming the greenest nation on earth, because it passed FEED in Tariff law to pay homeowners for the solar energy they harvest off their roofs & feed onto the grid. This is going to make some homeowners very rich. Japan now gets 11% of its energy from solar, wind & renewables. Japan will achieve 100% from renewables by 2030. I salue the Japanese green movement. Youtube: paul8kangas

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wasabizuki. You are correct. Japan gets more sun than Germany. If Germany can go 100% solar & renewables, so can Japan. .... Question. How does the new Feed In Tariff law help? .... The world is running out of OIL, uranium, coal & gas. .... We must go 100% solar ASAP. The faster the better. It is nice that Japan got bummed into this direction early. .... What is Naoto Kan doing to spread solar & help Japan go 100% towards Renewables? I hear he is very active. ....**** I will be visiting Japan soon to meet with Naoto Kan. I would like to meet with you first.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

may be' 'could' 'if'

I bet the researcher in question said that Fujisan DOES have a fault.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

wasabizuki,

I don't spread nuclear fear and can only suggest that you back track on my comments on the nuclear disaster and issues if you want to know what I've previously stated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So what is the evacuation plan?

Check with your prefectural or city office to see what's available. Most cities likely to be affected have something, in a few different languages, complete with cute pictures. Some plans, of course, will have to be decided after any eruption, since the nature of the damage will have to be evaluated.

Here's a little info for starters:

http://www.city.fujiyoshida.yamanashi.jp/div/bosai/html/hazard_map/index.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here's a link to an evacuation zone map within the pamphlet: http://www.city.fujiyoshida.yamanashi.jp/div/bosai/html/hazard_map/fuji_nsfa.pdf

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is no fault of these Japanese researchers nor the fault of the Japanese government, but my guess it is the fault of Fuji san. That said, why should we fault others when it may be our very own fault.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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