According to researchers, Japan might be about the add volcanic eruptions to the list of catastrophes that have dogged it over the past year, and the volcano in question is none other than the iconic Mt. Fuji.

On March 15th last year, four days after the major quake that shook Tohoku, a magnitude 6.4 quake hit Shizuoka, one of the prefectures Mt. Fuji sits astride. This week, a research team including members from the National Research Institute for Earth Sciences and Disaster Prevention announced that the quake has increased the likelihood of a large eruption from Mt. Fuji by increasing pressure within the magma chamber.

Mt. Fuji’s last eruption was in 1707, not long after the major Houei Earthquake, and the research team warns that pressure caused by last year’s earthquake is likely greater than that triggered by the Houei Earthquake. “For several years following an earthquake, there is the possibility of an eruption, so it is necessary to exercise caution,” said one.

The team estimates that the two earthquakes last year have raised the pressure in the center of the magma chamber, which lies about 15 kilometers below the surface, to about 1.6 megapascals, equivalent to atmospheric pressure of about 15.8kg/cm².

However, the researchers point out that the pressure of the magma chamber is not the only factor involved in an eruption, and other indicators of imminent activity have not be observed.

Via Sankei News