Sakurajima spews its highest volcanic column ever at 5,000 meters

August 18, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

KAGOSHIMA--A spectacular eruption of Sakurajima volcano here sent up its highest plume in recorded history on Aug. 18, the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory said.

The cascading column of smoke, caused by a massive 4:31 p.m. eruption, rose about 5,000 meters from the Showa Crater.

It marked the 500th eruption this year of the 1,117-meter-high mountain.

Blown by winds from the southeast, a large amount of volcanic ash fell in the central part of Kagoshima city, the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture.

The sky above the downtown area of the city became dark and visibility temporarily deteriorated.

Some passers-by shielded themselves from the ash with umbrellas. In addition, many drivers were forced to turn their car lights on in the darkened driving conditions.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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A billowing plume of smoke rises high in the sky above Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Aug. 18. (Provided by a reader)

A billowing plume of smoke rises high in the sky above Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Aug. 18. (Provided by a reader)

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  • A billowing plume of smoke rises high in the sky above Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Aug. 18. (Provided by a reader)
  • A billowing plume of smoke rises high in the sky above Sakurajima volcano as seen from Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Aug. 18. (Masako Nagai)
  • Ash from the eruption of Sakurajima volcano envelops the city of Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecure, on Aug. 18. (Tsubasa Setoguchi)
  • Passers-by walk with open umbrellas and their mouths covered with handkerchiefs to protect themselves against falling ash in Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture on Aug. 18. (Bunna Takizawa)

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