• Japan's Sakurajima volcano erupted recently
  • Sakurajima is an active volcano in Japan
  • The volcano produced lava bombs and ash plumes

Sakurajima, which is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan, has started erupting recently. According to a local meteorological agency, the volcano’s eruption ejected lava bombs and ash plumes that reached 11,000 feet into the air.

Sakurajima is an active stratovolcano in Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu. It is characterized by its conical shape made up of layers of hardened lava.

The volcano has been showing signs of increased activity in the past couple of years. Prior to its latest eruption, Sakurajima displayed volcanic activity on Nov. 12 last year. Then, in 2016, the volcano had multiple eruptions that led to earthquakes and towering volcanic ash plumes.

Due to its eruptions, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has imposed a Level 3 Near-Crater Warning for the volcano. This has been the alert level status of the volcano since 2016. It advises residents to stay away from the designated danger zone near the volcano. Currently, this area is the capital city of the Kagoshima Prefecture.

On April 24, the JMA reported via VolcanoDiscovery that Sakurajima produced a powerful eruption that sent volcanic ash plumes about 11,000 feet into the air. The agency also detected incandescent material being ejected from the volcano’s crater. The report indicated that some of the materials reached a distance of up to 3,600 feet,

The latest eruption triggered 26 volcanic earthquakes and 13 tremors within the area surrounding the volcano. The JMC warned that the volcano also ejected pyroclastic flows and lava bombs. The agency noted that some of these volcanic materials reached a distance of about 6,500 feet from the crater.

Sakurajima continued to show signs of unrest and volcanic activity until April 27, according to a report by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center. The agency will continue to monitor the volcano’s status for signs of unrest in the next couple of days.

If the volcano continues to produce more violent eruptions, then the JMC will most likely upgrade its alert status to Level 4. Under this status, local agencies in Japan will prepare to evacuate the residents living in areas near the volcano.

Japan Sakurajima Volcano eruption
Smoke rises after an eruption of Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan, in this photo taken through a window by Kyodo August 18, 2013. Reuters