Japanese volcano erupts in spectacular fashion

Volcanic smoke billows from Mount Sakurajima.
Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory
Volcanic smoke billows from Mount Sakurajima.

A mushroom-shaped cloud loomed over southern Japan at the weekend after Mount Sakurajima erupted in spectacular fashion. 

The volcano spewed an ash plume up to 5000 metres into the air, and dropped large amounts of volcanic ash on the nearby city of Kagoshima, causing severe traffic delays.

The 50-minute-long eruption also resulted in a small flow of volcanic material up to about one kilometre from the crater.

It was the 500th eruption this year of Sakurajima.

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