Hakone’s no-go volcanic zone streamed live online

Kyodo, Staff Report

Volcanic earthquakes continued at Mount Hakone southwest of Tokyo on Tuesday, while the Kanagawa Prefectural Government started online streaming from a camera installed in the Owakudani hot springs area.

The prefecture said it was responding to requests from the public, including tourists.

The video can be viewed through a link on the prefectural government’s website. The camera was set up by a nature conservation center for the management of an Owakudani trail. The area is subject to an evacuation advisory.

The address for the video link is jtim.es/MPSSd.

On Tuesday, the feed showed white steam rising as strong winds buffeted foliage on the volcano’s slopes.

An alert for a possible steam eruption remains in effect in Owakudani.

On Tuesday, 10 volcanic tremors had been recorded as of 8 a.m. The figure was 62 on Monday, including one quake strong enough to be felt by humans. On Sunday, 266 volcanic earthquakes were logged, the highest number ever recorded in one day, including six strong enough to be felt, according to the Meteorological Agency.

Meanwhile, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan said Monday that a satellite survey indicates the ground level in the Owakudani hot springs district has risen by up to 8 cm since March.

The alert level for Mount Hakone has been raised to a level advising restrictions on entry to areas around the volcanic vent.

The Meteorological Agency said Monday that the continuation of perceptible earthquakes does not necessarily indicate a major change in volcanic activity. Low frequency tremors or other signs of increased magmatic activity have not been observed, an official said.

After the alert level was raised May 6, the local town office issued an evacuation order for a 300-meter radius around Owakudani.

The office later eased the entry restrictions for some purposes, including hot springs maintenance. It reimposed the restrictions Friday but decided Monday to ease the restrictions again starting Tuesday.