2 - 3 Shimabara Catastrophe

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About 200 years ago, Mt. Fugen of Unzen Volcano erupted (1792: the 4th year of Kansei in Edo Era). After the stop of the eruption, Mt. Mayuyama (a lava dome rising behind the Shimabara City) suddenly collapsed in a large scale in 1792, being accompanied with a big earthquake. The debris flow buried nearly half of the Shimabara Castle Town, and generated a huge tsunami which traveled across Ariake Bay to hit the opposite shore of Kumamoto (Higo). Thereby about 15,000 people were killed. This has been the largest volcanic disaster in Japan. They call this Shimabara Catastrophe.

Bird's-eye view of Mt. Mayuyama
Mt. Mayuyama consists of two lava domes. Mt. Tenguyama (on the left-hand side) collapsed largely in 1792.
The small mounds in its front are resulted by the collapse. They are called "Nagare Yama" (floated mounds). Just before you is the Shimabara City.

Eruption points of Unzen Volcano in the historic age
and the location of the Mayuyama Collapse

Furuyake lava flow (1663) and Shinyake lava flow (1792)
Both flowed down from the mountainside along the valley.

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