Sakurajima Alert Area Temporarily Expanded

Society

Tokyo, April 25 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Meteorological Agency early Sunday expanded the alert zone around the Sakurajima volcano in the southwestern Japan city of Kagoshima.

But the agency canceled the expansion of the zone requiring alert for large volcanic rocks and pyroclastic flows on Sunday afternoon.

The agency expanded the alert zone after it judged from security camera footage that a pyroclastic flow, or a mix of high-temperature fragments of volcanic origin such as molten rocks, ash and gas, occurred from an explosive eruption that happened at a crater at the Minami-dake peak of the volcano around 1:09 a.m. (4:09 p.m. Saturday GMT).

Believing that the pyroclastic flow ran about 1.8 kilometers to the southwest of the peak, the agency saw the need to expand the alert zone as a potential larger eruption would put nearby residential areas in danger.

But an on-site survey later found no traces of a pyroclastic flow, leading the agency to suspect that the security camera footage showed part of volcanic smoke carried by winds and to cancel the alert zone expansion.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press