Sakurajima: The "Cherry Blossom Island Volcano"
The volcano Sakurajima (Sakura-jima) is located in the south of the Japanese archipelago, and more precisely on the island of Kyushu, forming a peninsula in the Bay of Kagoshima.
About 500,000 people live in the same-named city, which lies 8 kilometers across from the volcano. Since Sakurajima is an explosive subduction volcano, there is a substantial risk of danger.
The last extremely large eruption took place on Sakurajima in 1914. Up to this point, the volcano was on an island. Escaping lava created a land bridge to the north of the bay, linking the "Cherry Blossom Island" with Kyushu. The nearby town was covered with ash and many roofs collapsed. The eruption was a VEI 4.
In recent months, the eruptions from Showa-dake have been the topic of conversation, since there have been observation and photographs of volcanic lightning in the 1-3 km high ascending clouds of ash. These volcanic thunderstorms are relatively rare to observe, since they mostly occur only during large eruptions.
Volcanologists worry that an eruption similar to that in 1914 is imminent.
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