Is Japan In Danger Of A Major ‘Extinction’? Scientists Warn Of A Catastrophic Volcanic Eruption

Japan is home to 127 million inhabitants and Tokyo, the world’s most populous metropolis. It is particularly troubling that scientist at Kobe University, one of the top university in Japan, has reported that the country could be in danger of a volcanic eruption that could wipe out 95 percent of the population of Japan.

The scientists report that a massive volcanic crater on Kyushu Island, one of the many islands of Japan, could leave seven million people buried by flowing lava and molten rock in just two hours. The Kobe University earth sciences professor Yoshiyuki Tatsumi and associate professor Keiko Suzuki claim that “it is not an overestimate” that the eruption would make Japan practically “extinct.”

“It is not an overstatement to say that a colossal volcanic eruption would leave Japan extinct as a country.”

The study has reinforced the need for better technology to understand the magma reservoirs beneath the earth’s crust.

The scientists state that Japan faces a 1 percent risk in the next century of an eruption from the massive volcanic crater on Kyushu Island. The volcano has erupted seven times in 120,000 years.

However, they said that figure could not be ignored, as the chance of a major earthquake striking Kobe within 30 years was estimated at about one percent just a day before a 7.2-magnitude quake destroyed the Japanese port city in 1995, killing 6,400 people.

Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands which lies on the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped band of fault lines and volcanoes around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. Volcanic ash from the devastating eruption could be carried by westerly winds toward the main island of Honshu, making almost all of Japan “unliveable.”

Just recently, as the Inquisitr reported, Mount Ontake erupted killing 51 people. Mount Ontake was the first volcanic eruption to claim a life since 1990 in Japan.

mount-ontake distruction

The volcanic eruption would be a disaster on epic proportion not only for Japan, but for the entire world. Notwithstanding the environmental toll of such a disaster, Japan is one of the wealthiest nations in the world and one of the global hubs of manufacturing automotive and electronic commodities.

The World Bank estimated that the tsunami and earthquake that rocked Japan in March of 2011 was the most costly natural disaster in world history at $235 billion.

[Image via Reuters]