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Eruptions

Mt. Sakurajima is an active volcano located just 4km from Kagoshima City. Living in a city close to an active volcano may be cause for concern, but by making certain preparations in case it erupts, you should feel safe.

The last major eruption was in 1914. More recently, there has been a series of active eruptions. If a major eruption was to occur at Mt. Sakurajima, various kinds of damage could be expected. You should also pay attention to warning signs and information from the meteorological observatory.

  1. Cinders
    During an eruption, rock debris and pumice are sprayed into the air from the crater. Most cinders scatter within an area a few kilometers from the crater, and at times, rocks measuring more than 1m in diameter can be released.
  2. Pyroclastic flow
    A mixture of rocks, stones, volcanic ash and gas, measuring several hundred degrees, flows down the slope of the volcano at speeds in excess of 100km/h.
  3. Lava flow
    Magma spills over the crater and flows down the slope of the volcano. Although it does not travel that fast, any structures along its path are consumed by lava and buried.
  4. Falling ash
    Volcanic ash is blown away by the wind, and collects on the ground. When a major eruption occurs, more than 1m of ash can fall within a 20km radius.
  5. Debris slides
    As volcanic ash builds up on the slope of the volcano, any subsequent rain is more likely to cause flows of earth and rocks.
  6. Earthquakes
    Following a large-scale eruption, there is a chance of strong earthquakes measuring about 6 on the Japanese seismic scale (shindo) in Kagoshima City and surrounding areas.
  7. Rockslides
    Eruptions and earthquakes may possibly cause the mountain slope to come sliding down at high speed.
  8. Tsunamis
    Earthquakes, submarine eruptions and rockslides may trigger tsunamis.
  9. Volcanic gases
    Harmful gases, such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, may be emitted around the crater or along the sides of the volcano.

Warning Signs Of A Major Eruption

  1. Several earthquakes on the same day.
  2. Underground rumblings.
  3. The water level and temperature of well water and thermal springs are not the same as usual.
  4. New vents, a rise in ground temperatures, fissures in the ground.
  5. Trees and grasses becoming withered while standing, unusual behavior by animals, etc.

Preparing For A Major Eruption

  1. If you discover any abnormal phenomena, immediately notify City Hall, the police, the fire station, etc.
  2. If a major eruption has been forecast based on the warning signs above and an evacuation advisory, etc. has been issued, follow instructions and evacuate quickly.
  3. Do not be misled by superstitious beliefs or rumors. Take action based on correct information.
  4. Also exercise vigilance against earthquakes, tsunami and debris slides that accompany a volcanic eruption.
  5. Check where evacuation areas and ports of refuge, etc. are on a regular basis so you can get there without thinking, such as by participating in disaster drills.
  6. Use the Mt. Sakurajima Emergency Map and Pocket Book to check detailed information on dangers and shelters.

Evacuation advisories and announcements of the latest information, such as the opening of shelters, road closures, and the restoration of water and electricity, etc.

Distribution of information on volcanoes and other disasters, information on typhoons, storms and other weather events for disaster prevention, and evacuation information such as evacuation advisories and the opening of shelters.

  • Anshin Network: applications for registration can be made by sending a blank email to ansin119@kagoshima-fd.jp (no charge)

Sakurajima Volcano Hazard Map

This Sakurajima Volcano Hazard Map(PDF:4,041KB) is intended to provide help to local citizens in the case of immediate evacuation during emergencies and also is used for encouraging daily preparedness by providing them with information to familiarize themselves with the aftermath of previous major eruptions of Sakurajima as well as future dangers expected to be occur during volcanic disasters. Please post this sign in plain view. It is advisable to discuss actions to be taken during emergencies by local citizens of the community and pay attention to precursory phenomena and eruptive activities.

(PDF:4,041KB)

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