5 Février 2016
AP, Reuters, Staff Report
Mount Sakurajima, a volcano that overlooks the city of Kagoshima, erupted Friday with a fiery blast that sent lava rolling down its slope.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said Sakurajima, which is about 50 km from Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, erupted at 6:56 p.m.
Local television showed an orange burst out of the side of the volcano, near the summit, accompanied by lightning-like flashes. Dark gray smoke billowed into the sky.
The Meteorological Agency banned entry to the area, expanding an existing no-go zone around the crater to a 2-kilometer radius, according to public broadcaster NHK.
Given the eruption, the weather agency upgraded the volcanic alert from level 2 to level 3, which prohibits people from entering the mountain. The agency warned areas near residential districts on the mountain’s foot could be gravely affected.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The Sendai nuclear plant resumed operations last year. It was shut down, along with all of the nation’s nuclear plants, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at a nuclear plant north of Tokyo.
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. The mountain’s last major eruption was in September.
The Japanese archipelago sits atop the Pacific “Ring of fire” and has more than 100 volcanoes. The 2014 eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan killed 57 people.
February 5, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Sakurajima, a volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture, erupted at approximately 6:56 p.m. on Feb. 5, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported.
The agency raised the volcano's alert level from 2 to 3 on the 5-point scale, restricting entry. The agency reported large deposits from the eruption extending to the third station of the mountain (ranging 1,300 to 1,800 meters from the Showa crater).
The Meteorological Agency is warning local residents within 2 kilometers from the Showa crater as well as the Minamidake (southern peak) crater to take precautions against large cinders and pyroclastic flows. The agency additionally warned that volcanic ash and small cinders could be carried far by wind and fall on the leeward side of the mountain. Windows could also be shattered by violent eruptions, the agency said.
The agency had lowered the alert level for the 1,117-meter volcano to 2 on Nov. 25, 2015.
JMA volcanic warnings: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/volcano/
JMA volcanic ash fall forecast: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/ashfall/detailed_506_20160205192000.html#explain