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Major eruption of Mount Sakurajima, Japan


A major eruption occurred at Mount Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan at 22:56 UTC on June 5, 2017 (07:56 JST on June 6). This is the second significant eruption at the volcano in recent weeks.

The eruption occured at Showa crater, ejecting a plume of ash up to 4.2 km (14 000 feet) above sea level, according to the Tokyo VAAC.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned that similar eruptions could occur at the volcano at any time. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

JMA maintains at Level 3, orange alert, signifying the volcano is active and should not approach.

Mr. James Reynolds of Earth Uncut TV has an excellent video footage of the event:

YouTube video

Video courtesy Earth Uncut TV

The last major eruption of this volcano took occurred on May 29. 

JMA reported 22 events at Showa Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during May 22 – 29, seven of which were explosive. The explosions ejected material as high as 800 m (2 624 feet) above the crater rim, and as far away as 500 m (1 640 feet). Ash plumes rose as high as 3.3 km (10 826 feet) on May 23 and 3.4 km (11 155 feet) on May 29. 

Geological summary

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 (10.5 x 14.3 miles) 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 13000 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 (5 miles) from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76. (GVP)

Featured image: Eruption of Mount Sakurajima, Japan on June 6, 2017. Copyright: Earth Uncut

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