Japanese volcano grows 11 times its size in 15 months

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PACIFIC OCEAN, JAPAN (CNN/AVN/NHK) — A remote Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean has grown more than 11 times in size since an underwater eruption started about 15 months ago. The eruption started in November 2013 near the island Nishinoshima, which is about 621 miles away from Tokyo — but falls within its metropolitan area and created a separate island. The eruption continued, and lava connected the two islands.

On Monday, personnel aboard a Coast Guard patrol aircraft said a crater was spewing out volcanic rock five or six times per minute, sending smoke about 4,000 feet high. Infrared footage taken by a Coast Guard vessel showed molten lava flowing from the crater.

Coast Guard officials said the size of the island is now about 1.5 square miles. It measures 1,950 meters east to west and 1,800 meters north to south.

The officials said they hope to survey seabed formations using remote-controlled submersibles. They also called on ships to navigate areas near the island with caution.

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