Japanese Volcano Eruption Created Plumes And Volcanic Lightning

First Posted: Jul 30, 2016 04:30 AM EDT

A Japanese volcano eruption has taken place on the southern island of Kyushu that created plumes of suffocating ash and caused a volcanic lightning storm. A flow of lava has also been spotted that came bellowing out of Japan's Mount Sakurajima's slopes while several lava bombs have been flying out from the top.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has implemented a level 3 alert and asked people in the area to stay away from the Japanese volcano that is located just 50 km from a nuclear power plant in Sendai, Daily Mail Online reported. The Fukushima power plant, however, had been closed due to an accident brought about by an earthquake and tsunami from 2011 to 2015.

This is the first eruption of Sakurajima since August 2013 with such magnitude according to the Kagoshima Meteorological Office, Korea Times reported. It is Japan's 47th volcano eruption this year and The Japan Meteorological Agency has raised alert levels for 34 of the watch-list of 37 active Japanese volcanoes.

As demonstrated by an outburst back in February, the Japanese volcano erupts frequently throughout the year. However, the new explosion appears to be more energetic than usual. Back then, Japanese authorities expanded the pre-existing no-go zone around Sakurajima to a radius of 2 kilometers.

Sakurajima's past has been far more violent than the recent eruptions. In 1914, the Japanese volcano displayed the most powerful eruption in 20th-century Japan. Along with huge pyroclastic flows traveling at supersonic speeds, massive lava flows covered the area between the volcano and Kyushu that formed a new land bridge that stands up to this day.

The Japanese volcano, Sakurajima, a 16,000-year-old composite volcano, is situated within the Aira caldera, that was born in a festival of fire 22,000 years ago. The volcano measures 17 by 23 kilometers and conceals a vast magma chamber that may one day catastrophically blow its top.

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