Sakurajima Volcano Eruption Is 500th Eruption This Year With Record-Setting Plume [Video]

Sakurajima volcano erupted in Japan on Sunday in a dramatic display that represented the 500th eruption of the highly active volcano since the beginning of this year. Hit that button up top to see what it looked like Sunday.

The Weather Channel noted that Sakurajima was one of the most active volcanoes in Japan. Well, I should certainly hope so. I’ve embedded a couple of videos and tweeted photographs from Kagoshima, a city of 600,000 which enjoys a dramatic view of Sakurajima.

And there are many, many more photographs tweeted from the scene on this Japanese language page.

The volcano erupted with a bang to celebrate its 500th explosion. The plume reached 16,000 feet and was described as Sakurajima’s tallest since record-keeping began in 1955.

Needless to say, there was a huge fall of ash. People had to don masks, raincoats, and umbrellas. Vehicles had to turn on their headlights. Trains were delayed.

Fortunately, there don’t seem to be any reports of anybody being hurt. Kagoshima is roughly five miles from the volcano. The island nation is well-known for its many volcanoes on the Pacific Ocean’s famous Ring of Fire.

Volcano expert Erik Klemetti at Wired said that people put on dust masks partly because volcanic ash is “really just pieces of volcanic glass that are shattered by the explosive expansion of bubbles in an erupting magma.” So you definitely don’t want that stuff in your lungs.

This video report is in Japanese, but the smiles are the same in any language. It’s a little messy, and there’s going to be some cleanup. But it looks like everything’s going to be OK in the wake of Sakurajima’s 500th volcano eruption:

[Sakurajima volcano eruption 1974 file photo by Roger McLassus via Wikimedia]