As if Japan had not experienced enough trauma in the past week from the earthquake and tsunami which has already taken approximately 10,000 lives, the Shinmoedake volcano on Kyushu island erupted this morning, spewing rocks and ash 6,000 feet into the air.
Volcano not yet linked to the Earthquake
The Shinmoedake volcano lies approximately 950 miles from where the 9.0 earthquake took place on Friday, and at this time researchers have not been able to determine whether the two events are related. However, it would be quite a coincidence for the volcano’s recent activity to not be linked to such an enormous seismic event. The Shinmoedake volcano last erupted on January 19, however the eruption this morning was the biggest volcanic activity that Shinmoedake has seen in 52 years.
As the volcano erupted and poured smoke, ash, and debris into the air, windows as far as four miles away shattered from the impact. While the long-term effects of this eruption are currently unknown, everyone is hoping it does not have the same environmental impacts as last year’s Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland, which wreaked havoc on international travel and air quality. Further to that, officials are currently trying to calm threats of nuclear fallout at power plants across Japan, and a volcanic eruption is only causing more concern for the health of civilians, and the environment.