Sakurajima, Japan’s most active volcano that has erupted for the 500th time this year on Sunday, has covered the nearby city of Kagoshima with ash. The residents are clearing up the roads, cars, shops and homes covered with a blanket of grey dust.
Shopkeepers, housewives and municipal workers emerged with brooms and masks to sweep the fine debris away, the international media reports.
However, it might not be for the last time when they need to clean up the city, as the experts think the volcano could become more active this year than it has been in the last 20 years.
2012 was the year that had a record number of eruptions, according to Masato Iguchi, a professor at the Sakurajima Volcano Research Center.
Sakurajima is an active composite volcano and a former island in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. The lava flows of the 1914 eruption caused the former island to be connected with the Osumi Peninsula. The volcanic activity still continues, dropping large amounts of volcanic ash on the surroundings. Earlier eruptions built the white sands highlands in the region.
At present, Sakurajima erupts on a small scale several thousand times a year, sending ash a few kilometres above its peak.