Intense explosions accompanied by volcanic ash which is falling on nearby communities are continually observed at Japanese Sakurajima volcano.
The Tokyo VAAC reported an explosion at 03:38 UTC today sent volcanic ash up to 2.7 km. Explosion at 09:41 UTC sent ash up 3 km.
Thanks to James Reynolds, founder of Earth Uncut TV, and Robert Speta of the WestPacWx we can get a better picture of what it's like being near Sakurajima today.
Epic lava bombs / lightning strikes out of Sakura Jima in the early morning hours. pic.twitter.com/IWGhTdG8vj— Robert Speta (@robertspeta) January 31, 2015
Sakura jima putting on one amazing show today. Another eruption. pic.twitter.com/rH1pdxABSG— Robert Speta (@robertspeta) January 31, 2015
Your neighborhood volcanic ash road cleaner at Sakura jima. pic.twitter.com/62vd3REbVB— Robert Speta (@robertspeta) January 31, 2015
JMA reported that three explosions from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano ejected tephra as far as 800 m during January 19 - 23.
Incandescence from the crater was visible at night on January 22. Inflation continued to be detected.
Tokyo VAAC reported that on January 23 plumes rose to altitudes of 3 - 4.9 km a.s.l. and drifted SE. During January 24 - 27 plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8 - 3 km a.s.l. and drifted SE, E, NE, and N.
The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km 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 Sakurajima 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 Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake.
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.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Speta