Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sakurajima Volcanic Island, Kagoshima, Japan

Sakurajima is an active volcano and a former island in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyūshū, Japan. The volcanic activity still continues, dropping large amounts of volcanic ash on the surroundings. Its summit is split into three peaks, Kita-dake (northern peak), Naka-dake (central peak) and Minami-dake (southern peak) which is active now. The mountain is located in a part of Kagoshima Bay. The surface of this volcanic peninsula is about 30 sq miles. The 1914 eruption was the most powerful in twentieth-century Japan. Lava flows filled the narrow strait between the island and the mainland, turning it into a peninsula. 

Monitoring of the volcano and predictions of large eruptions are particularly important because of its location in a densely populated area, with the city of Kagoshima's 680,000 residents just a few kilometers from the volcano. The city conducts regular evacuation drills, and a number of shelters have been built where people can take refuge from falling volcanic debris. In 2011 and 2012, Sakura-jima experienced several significant eruptions; volcanic activity continues into 2013.

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