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Scientists Say Earthquake Could Wake Mount Fuji From 300-Year Slumber

TOKYO (UPI) — Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji could violently erupt if a major earthquake were to rip open its magma chamber, a team of researchers says.

The 12,388 symbol of Japan, registered on a U.N. list of World Heritage cultural sites last month, is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707 in what is known as the Hoei eruption, the researchers said.

Noting the pressure in its magma chamber has been building for the past 300 years, they warned a massive temblor in the area could cause this to be explosively released, Kyodo News reported Tuesday.

The scientists, including researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, used aerial photos and field investigations of a number of craters on the mountain to analyze past eruptions between some 10,000 years ago and the 1707 eruption.

Two major earthquakes of magnitude 8 had hit the region prior to the 1707 event, and vulcanologist Akira Takada warned that a major temblor could trigger another Mount Fuji eruption.Mysterious condition causing paralysis, death in ravens in CanadaWednesday, July 17, 2013 3:05 PMVICTORIA, British Columbia, July 17 (UPI) —  A strange affliction has been paralyzing and then killing ravens in a region of British Columbia, wildlife experts say.

Leona Green, who runs a wildlife rehabilitation center near Dawson Creek where more than 30 paralyzed ravens have been brought since May, said she’s never seen anything like it.

“Their legs were paralyzed, and then they actually atrophied,” she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Wednesday. “They almost looked like they were mummified.”

Despite all efforts to rehabilitate them the birds all died, she said.

Green said she has sent the bird carcasses to a laboratory in hopes of identifying the cause.

“Then this kind of mushroomed. I kept hearing more and more about it, and more dead birds,” she said. “What’s upsetting about it is the fact that we don’t know what it is. Is it going to affect other birds, or even animals? We don’t know.”

A spokesperson for British Columbia’s Fish and Wildlife Branch said it could not comment until lab tests are completed but that its experts do not believe there is a risk to human health.

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