Miyakejima, the island of gas masks

Miyakejima It is an island located in the southeast of Japan, and belongs to the Izu island group. Despite the high level of volcanic activity causing gas leaks from land, citizens refuse to leave the island.

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It is considered that since the last century there have been six eruptions. The worst of all occurred in 2000, and more than 3,600 residents they had to be evacuated after the eruptions of Mount Oyama released poisonous gas into the atmosphere. After this eruption they continued 17,500 earthquakes between June 26 and July 21 of the same year.

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Since then, all flights passing through the island have been suspended due to high sulfur levels. Residents of Miyakejima finally returned to “normal” routines in 2005 despite requiring gas masks to be worn at all times. Today the island stands out for three economic activities: agriculture, livestock and tourism.

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Outside of the dangers posed by volcanic eruptions, several tourists seek the island for its Flora and fauna unique, since several species of birds are endemic to the region. You can also go diving with dolphins.

For those interested, you can take the Tokaikisen ferry from the port of Takeshiba. There are also flights that depart from Miyakejima and Haneda airports with a duration of 50 minutes. Due to the constant threat of a sulfur emanation, all visitors are asked to purchase a gas mask upon arrival and take it everywhere. In case of being far from where the alarm can be heard, it is advisable to wear the mask at all times.