Expert says Mt. Paektu could erupt

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

Expert says Mt. Paektu could erupt



A volcanic eruption of North Korea’s Mount Paektu could be similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the United States, a Japanese expert said, after he claimed last week such an explosion was highly probable.

Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington State in May 1980 following a large earthquake, killing 57 people in the deadliest volcanic event in U.S. history. The eruption was rated as 5 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI).

The VEI scale ranges from 0 to 8 with an increase of 1 index point indicating an eruption 10 times more powerful.

Eruptions designated as having a VEI of 5 or higher are considered “very large” explosive events, and occur worldwide on an average of only about once every two decades, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, a scientific agency of the U.S. government.

Hiromitsu Taniguchi, a professor emeritus at Tohoku University and a renowned volcanologist, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday that an eruption of Mount Paektu could reach 4 or 5 on the VEI, should it occur.

Last week, Taniguchi claimed in the Japanese media that there was a 99 percent chance the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula would erupt in the next two decades due to the impact of the 2011 massive earthquake in Japan.

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)