As if the Japanese people have not already been dealt a horrendous hand these last few days, now a powerful volcano in southern Japan has erupted. The Japan Meteorological Agency has reported that Mt. Shinmoe-dake erupted violently after having been silent for two weeks.
This most recent eruption spewed a pillar of ash, rock, and volcanic debris two and a half miles high according to the report. The mountain began erupting on January 19th after being silent for more than two years. There is no word as to whether the eruption and Friday’s earthquake may be related. An interesting tidbit of trivia here, Mt. Shimoe-dake is the volcano that Sean Connery secreted into during the film You Only Live Twice from back in 1967.
With Friday’s magnitude 8.9 earthquake, the ensuing tsunami, hundreds of powerful aftershocks still going on, and what seems almost certain to be one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters looming over the heads of the Japanese nation, this latest news just seems surreal. Shinmoedake is a very large and powerful volcano located on the southern Japanese Island of Kyushu, about 950 miles south of the epicenter of Friday’s earthquake.
The volcano is thought to have formed between 7,000 and 25,000 years ago, and has erupted in the past during the years; 1716, 1717, 1771, 1822, 1959, 1991, 2008, and 2009. The last major eruption of the mountain before January was 52 years ago.
Today’s explosive event was a powerful one that could be heard for many miles and the mega powerful volcano’s most recent activity has now forced authorities to ban people to within one mile of the site. The Reuters picture via the Telegraph at top is volcanic lightning from the first eruptions back in January. Shinmoe-dake is one of twenty such volcanoes that make up the Kirishima group of volcanoes on Kyushu. Of course we will keep you updated on this latest natural hazard as the events develop.
For the people of Japan, our thoughts and best wished are with you as before. We can only hope that nature and the fates offer some relief very soon.
The video below is of the January eruption, it was taking during the night, rending an eerie, yet somehow fascinating lava and ash ejection.