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The volcano Sakurajima erupted on 5th February 2016. However, the reaction of Kagoshima people toward the eruption is very calm unlike the excessive exaggeration of various TV media.
Eruption after 6 Month Silence
The volcano made the last eruption in last September and its eruption alert has decreased from 3 (limited access to volcano) to 2 (limited to access to crater). But, after 6 months of interval, the volcano suddenly made the explosive eruption at 18:56 on 5th February 2016. TV channel frequently express such words as “Eruption Alert 3!” or “Eruption Smoke reached 2,200m!”.
But it is not surprising at all for me and many Kagoshima people, because we got very used to the eruption activity of the volcano. I even feel that I have returned to the NORMAL life.
Past Eruption Alert Level
Following charts shows you that the eruption alert level of the volcano has almost remained at the 3 . Accordingly, the alert level is quite usual for Kagoshima people.
It is originally prohibited to enter 2 miles circle from the crater of the volcano. So, there is no special danger for residents at Sakurajima island and surrounding area including Kagoshima City.
2 Days after Eruption
I took the following video 2 days after the eruption on my way home from World Cultural Heritage “Terayama Charcoal Kiln” at Yoshino, Kagoshima City. The heritage is located at a high place and the view of the Sakurajima is very beautiful from there.
We visited Senganen Park yesterday, an old cottage garden of the feudal lord of Kagoshima and a famous sightseeing spot in Kagoshima. I heard some visitors from other prefectures speaking to their travel guide, “I felt scared when I traveled here Kagoshima”. This means that many Japanese people live far from volcanoes. How courageous Kagoshima people are!
For your information, the Kagoshima City provides residents with special garbage bags for the volcanic ash of Mt.Sakurajima. Kagoshima people are used to the life with the volcano. Please watch the following video. I was driving in the falling ash. The sky is dark as if it is evening.
I remember I was making a small mountain with the volcanic ash instead of sands.
Above pictures shows you the volcanic ash bags at Senganen Park. The bag looks small, but it is heavy and will surprise you because particles of the volcanic ash is much smaller than those of sands.
Please make yourself at home and enjoy your trip in Kagoshima!