October 2016 – JAPAN– Japan’s largest active volcano, Mount Aso, erupted recently sending a massive cloud of smoke and ash almost 7 miles into the air. The volcanic debris and ash column was large enough to cover surrounding cities and coat them in grey soot.
The 5,200 feet tall Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture is on the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu. Luckily, no injuries have been reported from the eruption, but damages mainly due to ash fallout are still being assessed. The Japan Meteorological Agency raised the threat to level three near Mount Aso, warning local residents to not approach the volcano. The agency predicted heavy ash fall within 16 miles northeast of the volcano due to dominant wind direction.
“It is extremely rare for an eruption column to exceed 10,000 meters,” said Makoto Saito, the director of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Volcanology Division. There remains the potential for another eruption to occur due to the high activity of Mount Aso. Japan has witnessed several other Level 3 alerts this year alone coming from activity at Sakurajima and Kuchinoerabujima Volcanoes. You can witness the eruption in the Associated Press video below containing raw footage during the eruption. The footage was originally played on Japan’s NHK public TV station and shows the eruption from a vantage point. –Forbes