Photo/IllutrationMount Sakurajima in Kagoshima erupts at 3:41 a.m. on May 2. (The Asahi Shimbun)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

KAGOSHIMA--Mount Sakurajima blew its top again at 3:20 a.m. on May 2 in spectacular fashion, spewing a massive column of smoke rising 4,000 meters from the crater.

With more eruptions following, residents in the prefectural capital of Kagoshima, whose center is about 4 kilometers from the volcano across the bay, awoke to find their outside surroundings covered in ash.

Some pedestrians wore surgical masks or opened an umbrella to avoid the falling volcanic particles. Ash on the ground was stirred up when a car sped by.

According to the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory, five explosions were observed by noon on May 2.

They were the latest of a flurry of eruptions on the volcano observed in recent years. The most recent one was recorded April 28, for the first time since July 26 last year.

The latest eruption comes as the Japan Meteorological Agency continues to keep Sakurajima on an alert Level 3, which closes off the entire mountain.