Sakurajima Volcano Erupts in Japan; No Injuries Reported

Image: Sakurajima Volcano Erupts in Japan; No Injuries Reported

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 11:33 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Mount Sakurajima's volcano in southern Japan erupted Sunday and sent a 3.1 mile-high cloud of ash into the sky, blanketing the nearby city of Kagoshima.

The descending ash cloud, which resembled a severe blizzard, settled over the streets of Kagoshima, located roughly six miles west of the volcano's summit.

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In a BBC video, drivers and pedestrians struggle in their commute as the ash limits visibility and delays trains city wide.

"The smoke was a bit dramatic, but we are kind of used to it," an unnamed city official told local media outlets, Weather.com reported.

Japanese officials have warned residents to cover themselves as much as possible to limit contact with ash and wear masks to avoid breathing in the potentially hazardous material. The cloud is comprised of pulverized rock, minerals and volcanic glass.

No injuries have been reported in connection to the Sakurajima eruption, the Daily Mail reported.

Sunday's volcano eruption atop Mount Sakurajima, which reportedly lasted for about 50 minutes, is the 500th eruption so far this year.

It is, however, the volcano's largest eruption since 1955, the Daily Mail noted.

There have been more than 7,300 recorded eruptions in the past 45 years, the Sakurajima Volcano Research Center notes.

Mount Sakurajima is located on the southern Japanese main island of Kyushu and stands some 3,686 feet tall.

Japan is home to some 108 active volcanoes. The country has a population of 125 million people.

The island nation is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an area of the ocean in which 452 volcanoes, both active and dormant, reside.

Eight days earlier, Mount Rokatenda in Indonesia had a massive volcano eruption.

The eruption, on Aug. 10 spewed hot lava onto a small beach town, killing six people as they slept, the Associated Press reported.

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