Sakurajima Volcano has been steadily erupting for the last week, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, but a larger-than-average eruption on Tuesday has showered nearby Kagoshima City with rocks and ash. Located on Japan’s southwestern-most island of Kyushu, on Kagoshima Bay, the volcano now has residents wearing face masks to prevent the inhalation of dangerous airborne dust, and struggling with cleanup efforts. Meteorological officials have stated that there have already been more 600 minor eruptions since the beginning of this year alone.
But Sakurajima Volcano’s eruption on Tuesday was obviously worse than what has come before. At around 7:15 PM, ash began spewing from the mountains top, along with sending 18-inch rocks into the air more than a mile away. News footage shows a thick fog of dust, preventing anyone from seeing more than a few feet in front of themselves. As one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, this was said to have been the worst eruption since 2009.
As of Thursday morning, weather agencies reported visible ash clouds still lingering in the air, and with winds primarily coming from the southeast direction, residents have been warned that there may be more ash fall in the days to come. On July 24th, pilots reported seeing ash clouds as high as 8,000 to 12,000 feet, causing the Kagoshima Airport to briefly divert air traffic. The most significant change on the ground was a delay in trains and some road closures. Hopefully there won’t be any escalated eruptions after this, as the volcano is only 5 miles east of the city.[via NY Daily News]