Sakurajima volcano erupted this Friday, February 5 in the early evening in southern Japan. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a warning level at 3 of 5 while public television broadcast dramatic images of projection of glowing lava high into the sky . Powerful lightning visible through the lava explosions recall the phenomenon of volcanic storms.
The agency said on its website that this eruption off the coast of the port city of Kagoshima, located about a thousand kilometers southwest of Tokyo, began around 19h (local time). No damage or injuries were immediately deplored.
Pyroclastic flows, made of gas, ash and rock fragments may be projected within a radius of two kilometers. Access to the site was restricted following the warning issued by the Meteorological Agency. However, the order was not given to some 4,000 residents of this island to evacuate.
The volcano, which rises to 1,117 meters, is located about fifty kilometers from the Sendai nuclear power plant ,whose reactors 1 and 2 were recently restarted.
Since 2009, Sakurajima knows 500-1000 small eruptions every year. In August 2013, a spectacular eruption had scattered ash across the region.
Kazuhiro Ishihara, professor emeritus at Kyoto University and an volcano expert, was quoted by NHK as saying that the eruption was unlikely to have an immediate serious impact on nearby residential areas because the live video images appeared to show rocks flying only 2 km from the mountain’s top.
Friday’s eruption, while dramatic, was average compared to Sakurajima’s past eruptions, Ishihara told NHK.
At a news conference in Tokyo, an agency official said Sakurajima’s volcanic activity is likely to continue, adding that Friday’s eruption is probably a resumption of the previous eruptions that had continued until the mountain’s last major eruption in September.
Local residents appeared rather calm.
February 06 , 2016. Sakurajima , Japan :
Source : huffingtonpost.fr , japantimes.co .
Photos : KYODO , sakurajima-volcano.weebly.com .