Deadly Eruption at Mount Ontake

Mt. Ontake.  Looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Mt. Ontake. Looks beautiful, doesn’t it?

Such a tranquil-looking mountain isn’t it?  Well, Mt. Ontake is Japan’s second tallest volcano, and it erupted on Saturday.  There were around 300 people on the mountain at the time, and 31 are suspected to be dead, as there were many at the summit around the caldera during the eruption.

I live around 190 km from the mountain (Tokyo is 200 km from it), which is on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures.  At 3,067 metres tall, it’s a fairly tall stratovolcano with a somewhat frequent history of eruptions.  It’s interesting that it’s often climbed considering how often it does erupt.

Another volcano, at 3,776 metres, is Mt. Fuji.  It’s visible from my area, and is the tallest mountain in Japan.  It occasionally has earthquakes around it, and in recent years, the lakes around it have been getting a bit warmer.  There are worries about an eruption from Mt. Fuji, which is quite possible in the coming years.  It’s probably inevitable.  The last time it erupted was in 1708, and it dumped a lot of ash on Edo (modern name is Tokyo), causing many fires.  If it erupts today, the entire region will be shut down.  Planes can’t get in, trains are stopped, all transportation will stop.  No supplies, no food, no fuel, and the water system may be contaminated.  Sounds pretty bleak.  It would devastate Japan’s economy, as it would almost completely shut down Tokyo.

So, what were the effects of Mt. Ontake on the Tokyo area?  Nothing, really.  So, everyone, I’m fine.  Don’t worry.

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8 thoughts on “Deadly Eruption at Mount Ontake”

  1. Volcanoes have always been one of the more frightening natural elements for me. Growing up and living in the Pacific Northwest I remember being totally freaked out by a movie about the “Ring of Fire” and early stories of Mount Saint Helen’s Eruption.
    Glad you’re okay.

    1. I used to live in the Pacific Northwest. I went to university in Victoria, so I lived there for 5 years. I could sometimes see Mt. Baker quite clearly. It really is quite similar to Mt. Fuji in shape.

          1. It is – I just grew up West-side, so Hood was more visible. But St. Helen’s is just across the river. My neighbors where I grew up have stories of sitting outside and seeing the ash.

            1. That must have been something. I can’t see Mt Ontake at all from here. Although it’s not even twice the distance from here as Mt Fuji is, it’s behind Mt Fuji. Nothing to see.

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