Japan quells fears of Mt Fuji eruption after earthquake

The hashtag "Mt Fuji eruption", began trending in Japanese on Twitter, after an earthquake jolted areas near the mountain. PHOTO: AFP
The quake struck near Mt Fuji at 6.37am Japan time on Dec 3, 2021. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM USGS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese authorities on Friday (Dec 3) damped down speculation about a possible volcanic eruption at Mount Fuji, the nation's highest peak, after a 4.8-magnitude earthquake sent the topic trending on Twitter.

The quake at 6.37am (5.37am Singapore time) jolted areas near the iconic mountain, 100km west of Tokyo, but there were no immediate reports of injuries, casualties or major damage.

The hashtag "Mt Fuji eruption", began trending in Japanese on Twitter, with one user saying, "Tokyo would be in real trouble if Mount Fuji erupted. With coronavirus going on, where can we flee to?"

The volcano last erupted more than 300 years ago but is still active and occasionally goes through periods of activity that can produce several hundred tremors a month.

A Japanese government panel said last year that any major eruption would rain so much ash on Tokyo that its transportation network of trains and highways would be paralysed in three hours.

The Japan Meteorological Agency, however, said there was no data indicating an increased chance of Mount Fuji erupting.

"We have seen no particular abnormalities in observational data regarding Mount Fuji. There probably isn't any connection (between the quake and a possible eruption)," an agency official said at a news conference.

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