Three powerful explosions at 22:05 and 23:58 UTC on June 12, and another at 4:26 UTC on June 13, 2013 announced the awakening of Sakura-jima volcano, Japan from it`s ten day slumber.
The latest explosion on June 13, 2013, was especially violent, possibly one of the strongest in quite a while, generating an ash plume as high as 6 km (20,000 ft) according to Tokyo VAAC.
Ash plume forecast for Sakura-jima on June 13, 2013 (Credit: VAAC Tokyo)
Tokyo VAAC reported the ash plume drifting in the NE direction. Additionally, an SO2 plume was detected on satellite imagery.
SO2 plume produced by Sakura-jima volcano on June 13, 2013 (Credit: NOAA)
Infrared satellite image of Sakura-jima volcano on June 13, 2013 at 11:15 UTC (Credit: MTSAT-2/Tokyo VAAC)
According to Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) the alert level at Sakura-jima volcano stayed at Level 3 (Do not approach the volcano).
Here is a stunning video of the latest eruption at Sakura-jima:
Sakura-jima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones.
The construction of Sakura-jima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76. (GVP)
Watch live streaming on Sakura-jima webcams here.
Featured image: Video screenshot - Sakurajima on June 13, 2013 (Uploaded by Seth Mythrax)