The city of Kagoshima in southern Japan was covered in volcanic ash on Sunday when Mt. Sakurajima erupted, spewing a cloud of smoke and ash 5 km into the sky. Aerial photography showed a landscape painted gray with dust.
Located 10 km east of Kagoshima (pop. 680,000), Sakurajima is the most active volcano in Japan and one of the most active in the world. Sunday’s eruption was the largest since 1955 and the 500th this year.
Lava was recorded flowing as far as 1 km from the fissure, but no injuries or major damage were reported.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency expects activity at the highly monitored site to continue as it has for the past 58 years, but did not interpret Sunday’s event as a precursor to larger eruptions in the near future.
Japan is located a area of extreme crustal instability within the Pacific Ring of Fire, and is home to approximately 10% of all active volcanoes.