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Update Shinmoedake Volcano. Live webcams

01.02.2011, Age: 3918 days

According to volcanologists, the volcano's recent activivities resemble those during the devastating eruptions 300 years ago.

The explosions that occurred on Wednesday 1 February, one of which was heard even 8 kilometres away, were mainly phreatomagmatic explosions. See footage from webcams on Eruptions blog at BigThink There are indications of pyroclastic flows, but so far they have been relatively small. The authorities have widened the danger zone around the volcano.

Tuesday 31 January, after major explosions, the authorities advised more than 1,000 people to leave their homes within the danger zone and head for shelters.

Last week, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a level 3 alert for the Shinmoedake volcano. The volcano erupted for the first time in 52 years on January 19.

The second eruption started on January 26. A gray ash plume rose up to 1500 m above crater rim around 15:30 JST. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported it once reached 7500m. Shinmoedake is a volcano on Kyushu, the most southern island of Japan.

Last week, the Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported that “though the Japan Meteorological Agency did not expect the volcano to threaten lives or property some residents in the surrounding areas have been evacuated. It is reported that the eruption did not pose a threat to nearby cities, and due to the lack of magma movement beneath the surface volcanologists believe that a major eruption is not imminent.”

According to the latest reports, a lava dome is growing, heralding more violent eruptions.


Although the volcano is causing major trouble for transportation and residents, the images are quite astonishing. Reuters for instance set up a slide show with beautiful pictures of lightning strikes within the ash plume. Video reports of the volcanic eruptions were made by - among others- the New York based New Tang Dynasty Television.

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