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Update: At Least 31 People Feared Dead After Japan Volcano Erupts 54

An anonymous reader writes "More than 30 people may be dead in a volcanic eruption in central Japan, the nation's second natural disaster in the past month. Nagano prefecture posted on its website that about 30 people had heart and lung failure, the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it. At least four of the victims were being brought down from Mount Ontake on Sunday afternoon, one day after the volcano erupted."
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Update: At Least 31 People Feared Dead After Japan Volcano Erupts

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  • I don't think I have ever heard of a volcano erupting without any warning whatsoever.
    • Re:No warning? (Score:5, Informative)

      by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @09:44AM (#48013515) Homepage

      There was some seismic activity for a period of time before it happened - but this is Japan; there's always seismic activity happening. According to interviewed researchers there really was no warning beforehand.

      • First, I see all deaths as negative things so am not trying to belittle the loss of any lives. That said, I believe that the person you responded to was missing a sarcasm tag. We have gotten much better at detecting volcanic activity ahead of an event, but not always, and the severity of the event is always a big question mark. I remember reports about bulging at Mt. St. Helen that had scientists giving out warnings of another eminent eruption for about a year. I used to check a watch site they had set

      • Yes, but will Japan send their scientists to jail for not predicting it?

        • There is no law forcing scientists to predict earth quakes or volcanic eruptions ... so, how smart was your remark?

          • There is no law forcing scientists to predict earth quakes or volcanic eruptions ... so, how smart was your remark?

            It was a reference to this [reuters.com] story where Italy put 7 people, including 6 scientists, in prison for manslaughter for failing to predict an earthquake. There is no law forcing scientists to predict earthquakes or volcanic eruptions in Japan, but there is in Italy.

            It was covered here on Slashdot. Try to keep up.

            • Perhaps you should read the articles you link.

              The scientists where well aware of the earth quake! But they did not issue proper warnings! And that *is manslaughter*!

              • Perhaps you should read the articles you link.

                The scientists where well aware of the earth quake! But they did not issue proper warnings! And that *is manslaughter*!

                According the article, the scientists were well aware of the tremors that preceded the major earth quake, but as Italy is seismically very active anyway, didn't see any cause for concern of the tremors over and above all the other trremors Italy gets. And as none of them were alive in the 14th, 15th and 18th century (for which I doubt accurate, detailed seismic accounts are kept) they had no previous data on which to base their findings other than the ongoing seismic activity.

                The article points to nothing e

                • Erm, that issue was months long in the european press.
                  Yes the scientists new that a quake is imminent, they even published stuff about it in magazines but they failed to inform the mayour of the towns in question or any other official organizations.
                  And that is if I'm not mistaken even clearly mentioned on the article linked before.

                  Regarding tremors, there are clear patterns indicating a soon to happen quake. More modern approaches use measure 'glow' of stone under stress, or electric fields.

              • The scientists were well aware of the small quakes. The prosecution alledged that they should have known that this meant an elevated risk of a big quake and that their downplaying of said risks was sufficiently negligent to ammount to manslauter. The court agreed with the prosecution and convicted them but the sentances were apparently suspended until appeal.

                http://rt.com/news/italy-jail-... [rt.com]

                Did the court convict because they took a detatched view and found the people truely negligent or was their verdict co

          • Pretty smart. There were Italian scientists convicted of not warning about an earthquake.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      There was one in Rabaul harbour caught on video by sheer luck a few weeks ago. Not a huge eruption but anyone next to it would have had problems. You could say there was a warning in that everyone knew an active volcano was there but they didn't expect it to erupt suddenly and violently.
    • There probably were warnings. But the question is, how important where they, and how long before did they happen. If a magma stream crawled through an earthcrack, if could have triggered minimal seismic activity for 10-15 minutes before the event, which is both too short and too small to be noticed.
      Remember that Japan is located in a very active place regarding underground activities.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They found 31 bodies this morning. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/deadly-mount-ontake-eruption-in-japan-surprises-locals/

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Has this website turned into CNN?

    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      Natural-phenomenon news is one of those things that isn't a recent /. change. Random example [slashdot.org].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nah, if it was CNN they would have blamed it on global warming

      • Volcanoes cause a portion of global warming, that is an undisputed fact.

        • Neither are volcanoes a source of global warming, nor was that ever a fact under dispute.
          Volcanoes are a source of global cooling. Sigh ... what do youngsters like you learn in school in our days?

          • by armanox ( 826486 )

            Shouldn't the appropriate term being "Volcanoes can cause climate change"? Or how about Volcanoes mess stuff up, sometimes really big (see P-Tr Extinction event and Siberian Traps)

          • "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally, Marty"

            in the early 20th century, a less than normal amount of volcanism was responsible for a warming trend during that period.

            Also, I'm undoubtedly older than you, kid.

            • Well, statistically the chance is: you are not odler than me :D

              And no, there never really was a volcano responsible for global warming.

              The idea that volcanos would spit out CO2 or in CO2 in such masses that it is relevant is debunked since half a century, minimum.

              It was a no brainer anyway: where should a volcano get the CO2 from?
              Hm, a volcano could be penetrating a coal layer ... perhaps that could lead to CO2.

              Nevertheless typical gases emitted by a volcano lead to cooling, not to warming.

    • No, the comment moderation here is much better...

      Anyway, I need to run, I've got an article about how to lower my auto insurance since I don't drive more than 40 miles per day (apparently it's a secret).

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Sunday September 28, 2014 @10:25AM (#48013669)
    Science already knows that not all eruptions produce tell-tale precursors.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    154,889 other people died around the world today.

    (source http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/xx.html, outdated, broken link)

  • Sue the volcano

  • First Fukushima, now Mount Ontake?

    We should push for more stringent regulation of these kinds of disasters.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982