Sakurajima Eruption Creates Volcanic Plume Three Miles High

Mt. Sakurajima Eruption
Japan's Mount Sakurajima spewed an ash plume up to 5000m in the air when it erupted on Sunday evening. Picture: AP/Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory

SAN FRANCISCO — The city of Kagoshima in southern Japan was showered with ash and smoke Sunday after an explosive eruption from Mt. Sakurajima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes.

The eruption launched a spectacular plume of volcanic ash and smoke into the air, stretching more than three miles high, according to officials from the Kagoshima Meteorological Observatory. This was the volcano’s tallest ash plume since records began in 1955.

Skies were darkened by falling ash for the 600,000 residents of Kagoshima, which sits in the shadow of Sakurajima. The eruption began at 4:31 p.m. local time on Sunday (12:31 a.m. PDT) an lasted approximately 50 minutes.

Kagoshima Prefecture is located in the far southwestern part of Japan’s mainland on the island of Kyushu.

Sakurajima has been active in recent years. Local officials say there are no signs of major volcanic activity at present, but they are still urging caution.

More Video: View from the city of Kagoshima

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