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Japan has a lot of volcanos and even the mighty Mt. Fuji itself is an active volcano. In fact, Japan has 270 and with 100 of them active, accounting for 10% of the world’s active volcano.
The laid-back city of Kagoshima on the southern main island of Kyushu is known by some as the ‘Naples of Japan’ due to Mt. Sakurajima which sits in Kagoshima bay. The Japan Meteorological Association has announced this month that new data suggests a large-scale eruption of Sakurajima may be likely soon.
Back in 2016, the BBC reported that each year, 14 million cubic metres of magma has been accumulating faster than it can be expelled from the volcano. Authorities concluded that a major eruption was likely in the next 30 years. Since then, there have been notable eruptions, most recently on May 9th this year shooting plumes of volcanic ash over 4,000 metres into the air from its Minamidake crater. A spectacular eruption occurred in November last year and the patterns suggest that something big could happen soon.
The volcano actually sits in a semi-permanent state of eruption and the 600,000 residents of Kagoshima are well used to rumblings and ash from the mountain. However, the last major eruption of Sakurajima was in 1914 which caused the death of 58 people and even connected the island with the city, creating the Osumi peninsula.
Although death and damage are rarely caused by the volcano, Kagoshima City has prepared evacuation plans in case of a major event.
Kyodo News reports on recent findings here.