Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 52° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation/World

Japanese islanders still restless after 5 years

Yomiuri Shimbun

TOKYO – Today will mark the fifth anniversary since the start of volcanic eruptions of Mt. Oyama on Japan’s Miyakejima island.

They resulted in the evacuation of all inhabitants for more than four years.

With the evacuation order lifted in February and the island reopened to tourists in May, residents have been steadily rebuilding their lives. But evacuees from areas with high concentrations of volcanic gas are still spending restless days without permission to return to their own homes.

Residents of areas with high levels of volcanic gas remain in temporary housing even after returning to the island.

The islanders’ hardship began on June 26, 2000, when the Meteorological Agency issued an emergency volcanic alert to warn of a possible eruption on Mt. Oyama. The mountain later erupted several times, and in September, evacuation directives were issued to the residents.

The volcano spewed out 40,000 to 50,000 tons of volcanic gas per day at that time. It now releases between 2,000 to 5,000 tons per day.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.