A strong eruption took place from Sakurajima's Minamidake crater volcano at 22:20 UTC on June 15, 2018 (07:20 JST, June 16).
The eruption sent ash up to 4.7 km (15 400 feet) above the crater (5.8 km (19 000 feet) above sea level) and produced several pyroclastic flows.
Ashfall was reported in the city of Kagoshima, capital of Kagoshima prefecture, located 8 km (5 miles) west of the volcano.
Japan Meteorological Agency reported the #eruption of #Sakurajima volcano from its Minamidake crater at 7:19 am local time, 16 June 2018 spewing 4.7 km high huge ash column above the crater before being blown by the prevailing easterly wind towards the west -#JMA pic.twitter.com/uGQtExusL1— jaime s. sincioco (@jaimessincioco) June 16, 2018
There were eight events and five explosions at Minamidake crater from June 4 to 11. Crater incandescence was occasionally visible at night. Ash plumes rose up to 2 km (1.2 miles) above the crater rim, except during an event at 11:35 JST on June 10 which produced a plume that rose 3.5 km (2.1 miles). Tephra was ejected as far as 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the crater between June 8 and 11.
The Japan Meteorological Agency maintains the alert level at 3 of 5 since February 5, 2016.
Featured image: Eruption of Sakurajima volcano at 22:20 UTC on June 15, 2018. Credit: Tomoaki Iwakiri