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Mount Asama erupts 2 February 2009

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Mount Asama, 2 February 2009.

Mount Asama in Japan fulfilled the JMA forecast by erupting on a relatively small scale today, producing a steam-and-ash plume to altitudes of around 2 km and throwing rocks as far as 1km from the vent. Light ashfall took place over parts of Tokyo and reached as far as Yokohama. The Tokyo VAAC had reports (based on estimates) of ash up to altitudes of 10000 to 15000 ft (3-4.5 km), dispersing to the south-east. The BBC has a video showing aerial views of the summit which must have been taken soon after the eruption.

Meanwhile Sakura-jima on Kyushu in the south of Japan has also erupted several times over the last few hours, producing ashfall mainly into the sea. Sakura-jima is highly active, with frequent explosions producing ash plumes, and residents of the nearby city of Kagoshima took the latest activity in their stride: ‘we did not note anything out of the ordinary affecting daily activity’, said a local official.

Webcam views of Asama can be found here and here (thanks to Boris Behncke and Stefan Keuttel for this information). The image at the top is Asama erupting, 02:00, 2 February 2009 (thanks to Stefan Keuttel; original here).

UPDATE: The Japan Meteorological Agency is pleased that this eruption of Mount Asama has proved to be a success for its new volcano alert system, introduced in December 2007, reports The Japan Times.

Japan volcano Mount Asama erupts, no major damage – Reuters, 2 February 2009
Volcano erupts near Tokyo raining ash down on city – Associated Press, 2 February 2009
Ash falls on Tokyo as volcanoes erupt – AFP, 2 February 2009
Volcano erupts close to Tokyo – BBC News, 2 February 2009
Volcano erupts in Japan – BBC News, 2 February 2009 (video)

Global Volcanism Program: Asama – summary information for Asama (0803-11=)
Global Volcanism Program: Sakura-jima – summary information for Sakura-jima (0802-08=)
Japan Meteorological Agency – English-language homepage for the JMA
Volcano Research Center, University of Tokyo – English-language homepage for the VRC

The Volcanism Blog


1. boris behncke - 3 February 2009

There are now a number of still images and video clips from a surprisingly vast variety of Asama web cams available on Japanese sites. The most spectacular are at http://bousai.maechan.net/volcano/asama/archive/200902/ (the upper part of the page shows still images from two different cameras, which you can download even at high – 3008×2000 – resolution; at the bottom of the page there are five smaller thumbnails with links to movie clips compiled from the web cam images.

If you go to this page
you will find an archive with the complete set of images recorded by one of the web cams, which you can also watch as movie compilations (at top of the page, above the thumbnails, where you can choose two sizes: 720×480 pixel, and 1200×800 pixel).

enjoy …

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