In Japan, there has been a level 5 volcano eruption on the island of Kyushu. Sakurajima stands at a colossal 1,117 meters high and is the most active volcano in Japan.
It is relatively new in geological history, having been formed by a large eruption around 22,000 years ago.
The fact that Sakurajima has erupted is nothing new. In 2015 the peak hit a record high of over 1,200 eruptions within one year.
However, this eruption has caused a level 5 alert — the highest warning, to be put into place. Volcano stones have been seen pouring down around 2.5 kilometers from Sakurajima and photos show a haze of red surrounding its summit.
The volcano is billowing out a cloud of thick ashy smoke, however, there have been no reports of injury or damage so far, and we’re hoping it remains this way.
Kagoshima city is spread out and most of its residents are safe from the smoke and lava flow of the volcano. However, some residents live within 3 kilometers of the volcano, and there have been calls for evacuation of these citizens.
The alert levels of volcanoes are as follows:
- Level 0 – quiet or no alert
- Level 1– low level of volcanic unrest
- Level 2 – moderate level of volcanic unrest
- Level 3 – high level of volcanic unrest
- Level 4 – hazardous eruption imminent
- Level 5 – hazardous eruption in progress
Sakurajima translates to “cherry blossom island” and has had two significant eruptions since 2016. The island it sits on — Kyushu is off the coast of Japan and is one of its southernmost islands. Kyushu is known for its astounding nature, from roaring waterfalls to towering peaks, and is over 36,000 square kilometers in size.
There are six large cities on the island, including Kagoshima which is affected by the eruption. Over 10% of the Japanese population lives on Kyushu, totaling around 13 million residents.
Outside of Kyushu, the rest of Japan remains unaffected, so if you have a trip booked to that side of the world, you don’t need to hover on the cancel button.