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Heightened alert at Mount Asama 1 February 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Asama, Japan, volcano monitoring.
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'Earthquake and Eruption of the Mountain of Asama-yama, in the province of Sinano', Isaac Titsingh, London, 1822 (Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin).

The Japan Meteorological Agency has raised the alert level for Mount Asama, the most active of Honshu’s many volcanoes, after detecting increased seismic activity.

Press reports quote JMA official Sadayuki Kitagawa as warning that ‘Mount Asama could erupt within two days, spewing rocks and ash’, and that ‘there are prospects for an eruption that could thrown volcanic rocks to a distance of around 4 kilometres’. Up to 45,000 people could be affected by the current alert, and local officials are warning people to be ready for evacuation.

Asama has erupted frequently in recent years, most recently in September 2004, but without fatalities or widespread destructive effects. The volcano’s last destructive eruption was in May-August 1783, a VEI4 event which devastated 500 square kilometres and left around 1200 people dead.

Image: ”Earthquake and Eruption of the Mountain of Asama-yama, in the province of Sinano’, from Isaac Titsingh, Illustrations of Japan: Consisting of Private Memoirs and Anecdotes of the Reigning Dynasty of the Djogouns, or Sovereigns of Japan (London, 1822). Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. [Source]

Japan warns of eruptions at volcanoInternational Herald Tribune, 1 February 2009
Japan on heightened alert for Mount Asama eruption – Reuters, 1 February 2009
Japan warns of volcano eruption within 48 hours – Telegraph.co.uk, 1 February 2009

Global Volcanism Program: Asama – summary information for Asama (0803-11=)
Japan Meteorological Agency – English-language homepage for the JMA
Volcano Research Center, University of Tokyo – English-language homepage for the VRC

The Volcanism Blog


1. Boris Behncke - 1 February 2009

There is a number of live-cams to look up for Asama, and maybe the most interesting of these is one that shows you time exposures. This allows to see some intermittent faint incandescence during the night of 1-2 February 2009:

(click http://www.kitakaruizawa.net/kb_detail/ for an enlarged view)

A list of further web cams is at


2. Stefan Kuettel - 2 February 2009

As Boris mentioned, there are a number of very nice live cams around this volcano. One of the nicest shot from last night can be found at http://bousai.maechan.net/volcano/asama/kitakaru_kb/photo/kb/20090201/200902020200.jpg

3. Michelle - 9 February 2009

Thanks for posting all these link. I live 65 miles from Asama. Ash was on our cars when we woke up Monday morning.

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