The Sakurajima volcano in southwestern Japan erupted on Sunday afternoon, spewing ashes 5 kilometres up in the air. As a result, railway operators stopped their service in Kagoshima City temporarily while the ash is being removed.
The Weather Channel said the eruption started at 4:31 pm on Sunday (local time). It is considered the highest ash plume since public broadcaster NHK began tracking Japan's volcanic eruptions in 1955.
As a result, visibility in Kagoshima worsened, especially in the populated areas, affecting about 600,000 residents.
NHK added there is a pyroclastic flow that is moving fast a current of gas and rock, observed along a one-kilometre swath on the southeast side of the volcano.
Residents had to use face masks and wear raincoats and shielded themselves from the resulting ashfall. Motorists had to open their headlights to see their way around the city which looked like snow has descended on it.
So far, there had been no reports of injuries, according to Kyodo News.
The volcano is located 10 kilometres from Kagoshima City in the prefecture with the same name.
While the Japan Meteorological Agency said that there are no signs of a large eruption from Sakurajima, similar activities may continue.
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