Special Issue on Volcanic Disasters
Toshitsugu Fujii and Kazuhiro Ishihara
Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo
1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University
Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
The volcanic disasters are quite variable depending on the nature of the volcanic eruptions, the degrees of land-use surrounding the volcanic areas and preparedness against the eruptions. In order to mitigate the volcanic disasters, therefore, multidisciplinary approach is required. The International Volcanic Conference, “Cities on Volcanoes 5,” held in Shimabara Japan on the November 19-23, 2007 encouraged a wide range of people who are engaged in the volcanic disaster mitigation to gather to discuss topics related to volcanic eruptions and their hazards. The aim of this conference was to evaluate and improve mitigation measures, emergency management, and all required to successfully confront volcanic crises in densely populated area and to recover from any devastation. As the main topics discussed during the conference is quite adequate for the aim of this journal, this special issue tried to include papers read at the conference as many as possible. For the mitigation of the volcanic disasters, several different approaches should be included. Volcano monitoring through observation is the basis for most eruption forecasts and other measures for volcanic disaster mitigation. Impacts on human health and sustainability in volcanic areas in the fields of air and water pollution are also important issues to be included in the management of volcanic hazards. The practical lessons learned through the case histories of actual events should be shared to prepare for and respond to volcano crises that may affect communities. Hiroaki Takahashi proposes a method to estimate the real-time eruption magnitude that might be utilized to judge the duration of eruption in the early stage of eruption. Yoshikazu Kikawada et al. summarize arsenic pollution of rivers originated from the Kusatsu volcanic region. Tsuneomi Kagiyama and Yuichi Morita discuss the strategy to understand the preparing process of caldera forming eruption as a first step to assess the risk of gigantic eruption. Hiroshi Ikeya describes the prevention works executed by the central and local governments during and after the Mt. Unzen 1990-1995 eruption. Harry J. R. Keys summarizes the aspects of risk assessment and mitigation for a dome-break lahar that was predicted in 1995 and actually occurred on 18 March 2007 at Ruapehu volcano. Yoichi Nakamura et al. describe the mitigation systems on volcanic disasters in Japan emphasizing the importance of preparing hazard maps. We know the topics covered by this special issue do not represent the wide-ranging aspect of the conference, but include some significant portion. We hope that this special issue will be utilized to share the lessons learned through the practical trial to mitigate the actual disasters during the volcanic crisis.