KAGOSHIMA--Mount Sakurajima here erupted in spectacular fashion Nov. 8, spewing plumes of ash and gas 5,500 meters into the sky.

The 5:24 p.m. eruption at the Minamidake summit vent was the largest on record, according to the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Office, citing statistics dating back to 1955.

More eruptions appear likely due to a buildup of magma.

Meteorological office staff said the last time smoke from an eruption at Minamidake exceeded 5,000 meters was on Oct. 7, 2000.

Fumes from an eruption at the Showa crater reached similar heights on July 26, 2016.

A smaller eruption on Nov. 7 sent plumes of ash and gas 3,800 meters into the sky.

Officials are maintaining an alert level of 3, meaning no one should enter the mountain area.