A Sakurajima eruption spewed a three-mile ash plume over Japan. The volcano dumped ash as far away as Kagoshima on Kyushu Island. According to United Press International on August 19, 2013, no one was injured.
Kyodo News reported the eruption began about 4:30 p.m. local time. Besides ash, which reached a height of up to 5,000 meters or more than 16,400 feet, the volcano also tossed out large rocks. The report said a lava flow of more than a half mile in length also was observed.
The Sakurajima eruption was the 500th time this year so far. 2012 had a record number of eruptions. Kagoshima residents needed to use umbrellas and even turn on car headlights to see through the darkened conditions caused by the falling ash. They were warned to wear protective masks to help shield their lungs from the ash.
The three-mile high Sakurajima eruption ash plume was the longest since 1955. The volcano is located in the southern-most part of Japan. The mountain is composed of three peaks. Minami-dake, the southern peak, is the one that is currently erupting. The current activity is located in the Showa crater. Sakurajima is part of Kirishima-Yaku National Park, which is a very popular tourist attraction in Japan.
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