Located in Kyushu, Japan, at 31.93 N, 130.87 E  with summit elevation 1700 m, Kirishima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. Kirishima is a group of 20 volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay. Volcanoes include Takachihonomine, Nakadake, Ohatayama, Karakunidake, Tairoike, Ohachi, and Shinmoedake.

Kirishima Volcano in Kagoshima Bay, Kyushu, South Japan (source: googlemap)

Kirishima Volcano in Kagoshima Bay, Kyushu, South Japan (source: googlemap)

Aerial view of Kirishima Volcano (web.mac.com)

Aerial view of Kirishima Volcano (web.mac.com)

An eruption occurred at Kirishima volcano, Japan on Wednesday 26th January 2011. Some residents evacuated their homes from a town located 7 km from the crater at Shinmoe-dake. The eruption forced the cancellation of train services on the JR Nippo Main Line between Tano and Kokubu stations, on the Nichinan Line between Aoshima and Shibushi stations, and on the Kitto Line. Part of the Miyazaki Expressway remained closed off due to poor visibility. The eruption produced lava fountains, lava flows and ash emissions. Ash emissions reached a height of 25,000 ft.

Ash billows as a lava dome builds in Shinmoedake peak on Mount Kirishima on Monday morning, dusting wide parts of Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. KYODO PHOTO, japantimes

Ash billows as a lava dome builds in Shinmoedake peak on Mount Kirishima on Monday morning, dusting wide parts of Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. KYODO PHOTO, japantimes

Mount Kirishima continued erupting Thursday on the border between Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, spewing columns of smoke up to more than 2,500 meters, the weather agency said.

Rocks were blasted as far as 8 km from Kirishima’s Shinmoedake peak, according to the Meteorological Agency. Volcanic ash disrupted train and flight services in the area.

The agency revised the scale of the eruption upward to “medium” from the initial “small,” after the smoke columns reached about 500 meters higher than Wednesday.

While continuing regulations to keep people away from the volcano, the agency also warned of large volcanic rocks falling in areas about 2 km from its crater.

Volcanic tremors indicating magma activities also continued Thursday.

The first in-depth eruption began Wednesday at around 7:30 p.m., when the 1,421-meter Shinmoedake peak began spewing debris in its second outburst since a small eruption Jan. 19, the agency said.

According to the Miyazaki Observatory, ash is falling on a wide area that includes the cities of Miyazaki and Nichinan in Miyazaki Prefecture, and has partially closed expressways in Kyushu. Fourteen residents in the town of Takaharu, Miyazaki Prefecture, voluntarily evacuated to a public facility early Thursday.

Blowing its top: Mount Kirishima's Shinmoedake peak, seen from Takaharu, Miyazaki Prefecture, spews ash Thursday morning. KYODO PHOTO-japantimes

Blowing its top: Mount Kirishima's Shinmoedake peak, seen from Takaharu, Miyazaki Prefecture, spews ash Thursday morning. KYODO PHOTO-japantimes

Extracurricular: Children clean a hallway covered with volcanic ash at their elementary school Monday in Takaharu, Miyazaki Prefecture. KYODO PHOTO-japantimes

Extracurricular: Children clean a hallway covered with volcanic ash at their elementary school Monday in Takaharu, Miyazaki Prefecture. KYODO PHOTO-japantimes

Source:

japantimes,

http://www.volcanolive.com/kirishima.html,

http://web.mac.com/japan_geoparks/JGN/member/kirishima/kirishima-e.html