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Mt. Fuji Volcano Evacuation Map Q&A

When is Mt. Fuji expected to erupt?

Nobody knows for sure, however over the past 2200 years there have been 75 different eruptions. The most recent eruption occurred 300 years ago. Recently, small scale earthquakes due to the movement of magma beneath the Mt. Fuji area have been regularly observed. Though it may not be soon, Mt. Fuji is expected to erupt at some point in the future.

What kind of eruption can we expect from Mt. Fuji?

In the past 2200 years, all the eruptions on Mt. Fuji have come from the sides of the mountain. Large scale eruptions such as the Houei Eruption in 1707 that continued for 30 years, and the Jogan Eruption in 864 that produced the Aokigahara Lava Flow account for only 2% of total eruptions. Statistically speaking, small scale eruptions from the sides of the mountain are the most likely to occur. However, since the Houei Eruption 300 years ago, Mt. Fuji has been quiet; possibly storing up energy for another eruption. We must stay aware of this possibility.

Of what should we be aware in the event of a volcanic eruption?

If a change is noticed in the condition of Mt. Fuji, volcanic observation reports, advisories, and alerts will be broadcast from the Japan Meteorological Agency(JMA) over TV, radio, and public announcement services. In the event that evacuation becomes necessary, instructions will be provided by local authorities, which should be followed without panic, in a calm and orderly manner.

What should we do to prepare for an eruption?

First, understand what kind of damage Mt. Fuji can cause as an active volcano. It is important to discuss communication and evacuation procedures with family and community in advance. Also, it is good to prepare a backpack with emergency items such as first aid, water, non-perishable foods, flashlights, and extra blankets and clothes.

What about mudflows from melting snow?

Mudflows are one of the disastrous effects of a volcano. If pyroclastic* flows develop during the season when snow has piled up on Mt. Fuji, then snow will melt in large quantities, grab rocks and soil, and rush down the mountain at high speed. Particularly from February through April when large amounts of snow have piled up on the mountain, we must be aware of the possibility of dangerous mudflows occurring.

*Pyroclastic Flows are a phenomenon caused in an eruption when small broken rocks and stones mix with hot gasses and rush down the mountain at high speed.