TOKYO (AFP) - A new island created by a volcanic eruption off Japan's coast is here to stay - for now at least, scientists said on Tuesday, adding the new land mass could withstand erosion for several years.
Lava that was dramatically vented when an undersea volcano began erupting last month cooled and solidified above the surface of the sea, creating a small island 1,000km south of Tokyo. At the time, Japan's Coast Guard said it was too early to mark a new entry on the national map because it could soon disappear.
On Tuesday, however, Japan's meteorological agency said the island looked set to hang around for some time.
"As the volcanic eruption is still continuing, we don't know the fate of the island," said agency official Tomoyuki Kano. "But it won't disappear in days or weeks, and will probably last for several years... unless a huge volcanic eruption happens and blows it apart."