Close Window
Record Ash Cloud from Southern Japan Blast August 23, 2013
Mount Sakurajima erupting on August 18, 2013
Ash from the August 18 eruption can be seen blowing over the city of Kagoshima.
A powerful blast from Japan’s Mount Sakurajima volcano sent a massive plume of ash blowing over the city of Kagoshima, where residents used masks, raincoats and umbrellas to shield themselves from the falling debris.

Railway operators halted service in the area so ash could be removed from the tracks. Garbage trucks and water sprinklers were also dispatched to clean up the gritty mess.

The Aug. 18 eruption sent ash soaring 3 miles into the atmosphere, making it the highest plume ever recorded from the volcano.

There were no reports of injuries or major damage due to the blast.

But a searing hot cloud of debris was observed cascading down the mountain’s southeastern slope, well away from any human settlement.

Vulcanologists point out that Sakurajima has erupted every few hours or days since 1955, and shows no signs of calming down. It is also one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

But the latest blast was unusually strong and also sent lava flowing about a half mile from a fissure in the mountain’s side.

Photo: Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory