Tsunami could be generated by fragmentation of the volcano in the island of Nishinoshima, Japan

Photo: AFP

Scientists fear that if Nishinoshima continues to grow, now increased to five times its size in May, can generate a branch to sink and generate a tsunami

This is the island of Nishinoshima, located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, which quintupled its size at the end of May due to the lava solidified product of the eruption of a volcano that has since late last November spewing magma.

Before the eruption, the remote island measuring 290 square meters, but the area has grown to 1.4 square kilometers and continues to expand due to the emission of lava, according to the latest observations from helicopter.

The volcano spits every day some 200,000 cubic meters of magma, as estimated by a group of scientists from Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute.

If this pace is maintained eruptions in the coming months, some of the new branches of the island formed by solidified lava “could sink and generate a tsunami,” said the newspaper quoted the head of investigations, volcanic geology professor Fukashi Maeno .

The eventual tsunami would reach Chichijima Island, in which more than 2,000 people and the main living Ogasawa archipelago, about 130 kilometers east of Nishinoshima, according to a computer simulation by researchers.

Given this risk, Maeno stressed the need to install anti-tsunami barriers around the island and “continuous monitoring of its evolution.”

The eruption, which took place on 20 November, was the first of a volcano in Japan in four decades.

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