A FLURRY of recent seismic activity across the so-called Ring of Fire has renewed fears a massive tremor could hit.
Earthquakes have struck Alaska, Japan, and Taiwan in recent months, while a volcano in the Philippines recently erupted.
The Ring of Fire consists of a huge arc that runs along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean, North America and Japan and South East Asia.
Countries within this arc are more prone to seismic activity, including disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR, said on January 24 the Ring of Fire had been "particularly active".
And in November last year University of Colorado scientist Roger Bilham said increased temperature of the earth's core means "the world has entered a period of enhanced global seismic productivity" which could last at least five years.
Last year more than 140,000 people fled the area around Bali's Mount Agung in November after its alert status was raised to the highest level, indicating an eruption may be imminent. This was later downgraded.
In Taiwan, an earthquake on February 6 left 17 people dead and tilted a 12-storey building on a 45-degree angle.
In recent days, lava flowing from the Philippines' erupting Mount Mayon has spread 2.2miles, and on January 23 a 7.9 tremor hit off the coast of Alaska, sparking tsunami evacuations.
Toshiyasu Nagao, head of Tokai University’s Earthquake Prediction Research Center, said: "The Pacific Rim is in a period of activity,” the Japan Times reported.
"In terms of volcanic history, however, the current activity is still regarded as normal."
Many other experts have also moved to reassure the public, saying such events are not correlated - and multiple eruptions are simply just a coincidence.
Shinji Toda, professor at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science at Tohoku University, told the paper: "We cannot predict earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Earth science has not developed that far.
"Such predictions are often made routinely after major events. If you say that everyday for a long time, naturally you will get it right at some point."
Geologist Chris Elders told The New Daily: "There’s not really likely to be any connection.
"While they do indeed have the same origin - the Ring of Fire - these recent events are a coincidence. The region itself is a breeding ground for seismic activity."
WHAT IS THE RING OF FIRE?
The Ring of Fire is a long chain of volcanoes and earthquakes around the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
There are 452 volcanoes based in the 25,000-mile ring that stretches from North and South America to Japan and New Zealand.
Since 1850 about 90 per cent of the most powerful eruptions happened within this boundary.
It formed when dense ocean plates crashed and slid under lighter continental plates.
This is a process called subduction.
Tectonic plates are huge slabs of the Earth's crust and move constantly above the mantle - a layer of molten and solid rock.