Earthquakes in Alaska, Indonesia and Hawaii and volcanoes in Japan and the Philippines have sparked panic across the Pacific Ring of Fire today, with volcanically and geologically active areas on alert.  A huge 7.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska early this morning, sparking tsunami warnings and watches along the entire west coast of Canada, the United States and parts of Mexico. Indonesia was rocked by a 5.3 quake, with at least 130 buildings damaged and several people injured, while thousands of people were evacuated from areas surrounding volcanoes in Japan and the Philippines.

One person died in Japan as the Kusatsu-Shirane volcano triggered an avalanche at a ski resort. The victim was a soldier training in the area when the volcano erupted. It is unknown whether he was killed in the avalanche or after being hit by large rocks which shot out of the volcano, which seriously injured five others. The volatility on the Pacific Ring of Fire today has increased fears for the Big One: a major earthquake in a highly-populated area on the US west coast. READ MORE