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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/21/2013 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New island created off the coast of Nishinoshima island

Japan is the proud papa of a brand new island after an unsersea volcanic eruption. The new baby island is located in the south of the nation's territorial waters. The eruption, off the coast of Nishinoshima island broke the ocean's surface waters earlier this week, sending a plume of smoke and ash about 2,000 feet into the air.

The last time Nishinoshima showed any volcanic activity was in January 2000, when an eruption on the island's northwest side discolored the water a pale yellow-green.

The last time Nishinoshima showed any volcanic activity was in January 2000, when an eruption on the island's northwest side discolored the water a pale yellow-green.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/21/2013 (4 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Japan, eruptions, new island, Nishinoshima


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  The Japanese Coast Guard was immediately alerted to the new island's formation.

A cinder cone emerging from the ocean is suspected to be part of the same volcanic system that enlarged Nishinoshima in 1974. The coone has now formed an islet on Nishinoshima's southeast side that's about 500 feet in diameter.

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The last time Nishinoshima showed any volcanic activity was in January 2000, when an eruption on the island's northwest side discolored the water a pale yellow-green.

"Japan's top government spokesman joked that he hoped the outcrop would mark an expansion of Tokyo's maritime territory - a reference to diplomatic rows with China and South Korea over ownership of other islands far from the tiny islet," officials said.

"If this becomes a solid island, our country's territorial waters will expand," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

The more recent volcanically formed islands in Japan's waters have remained uninhabited. Still others have eroded back into the ocean. This latest one may do the same -- or continue to enlarge the size of Nishinoshima.

The new island, called Niijima is small, with some reports putting the island at 650 feet across and 65 feet high. Prospects for its survival seem remote. Nothing survives for long in the rough Pacific if it only grows to this size.

"The plume hasn't been noticeable . in any satellite imagery, but that could change some now that the island is above sea level. So far, there isn't really any hazard for people who live near the remote island, but the Japanese Meteorological Agency has warned ships not to approach the crater," Erik Klemetti of Wired magazine says.

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