Eruption of Sakurajima in Japan

On August 18, 2013, Sakurajima shot a cloud of ash into the sky up to a height of 5,000 metres, covering Kagoshima with a layer of ash.

The Japanese city of Kagoshima and the Sakurajima volcano are inseparable. Kagoshima is located only about ten kilometres away from one of the most active volcanoes in the world. On Sunday, August 18, 2013 Sakurajima exploded for the 500th time already this year; a cloud of ash shot into the sky up to a height of 5,000 metres, covering Kagoshima with a layer of ash. Trains were delayed and several vehicles were slightly damaged. However, according to official sources no deaths or inju­ries occurred.

The 600,000 inhabitants of Kagoshima have regularly experienced eruptions of the 1,117-metre high volcano for almost 60 years. Nearly 1,000 explosions were recorded in 2011, in the following year 885. The largest historical eruption occurred between 1471 and 1476. In 1914 an enormous lava flow separated after initial intense explosive activity, as a result of which the former volcanic island was naturally connected to the mainland.

Although devastating eruptions occurred again and again in the early past, current activity is rather characterized by frequent, but small to moderate explosions. Sakurajima is monitored by satellites and seismic networks, by means of which intensified activity can be immediately recorded. According to the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) of the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) no impairment due to volcanic ash in the atmosphere is at present forecast for air traffic for the coming 18 hours (status: September 13, 2013, 1 pm).

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