SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – A conference convened by the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Insadong, Jongno District was attended by prominent volcanologists Clive Oppenheimer, Jiaqi Liu and Richard Stone on September 26.
The attending scientists discussed the possibility of a volcanic eruption by Mt. Paektu, which has lain dormant since the “Millennium Eruption” in 946 A.D.
Stone said, “That there has been an increase in the number of earthquakes in the surrounding area around Mt. Paektu compared to the past is something to take note of.” He explained, “The outbreak of earthquakes around the volcano is becoming more frequent can be understood as an aftereffect of magma coming up to the surface.”
As the experts believe that Mt. Paektu can erupt at any moment, they stressed the importance of a collaborative research initiative between South Korea, North Korea and China.
Some among the attendees theorized that the recent spate of North Korean nuclear tests could have an effect on Mt. Paektu’s potential eruption.
In response to such concerns, Liu said that there was no evidence to support such conclusions. However, Liu did make note of the fact that the reverberations of North Korea’s nuclear tests were growing stronger.
The gathering of volcano experts, in light of the “critical phase” declared by Indonesia in regards to the possibility of an eruption at Mt. Agung on Bali, has been timely.
So far, more than 57,000 people have been evacuated as Indonesia waits anxiously. Mt. Agung last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000.