26/365: Kirishima puts on a show

January 26th, 2011 in Daily

Quite a show in Kirishima today as Shinmoedake (新燃岳) let of this explosive eruption, seen above (from over 60km away in Kanoya), the first major activity in that area since the 50’s.

I really wish I could have shot more during daylight… I was too exhausted to make the 2 hour drive (in rush hour traffic) to Kirishima for any night photos. I did however take these shots of my bowling-alley-prize TV later on:

Shortly after, one of my favorite blogs Eruptions picked up on the news, explaining the event in context to Kirishima’s previous volcanic activity. Be sure to skim through the comments section for more information, footage, and speculation. To put this into perspective, they bumped Shinmoedake to Level 3 of activity which, aside from today’s eruption, is what Sakurajima has been rated at for the past year or so.

Here is one of the more interesting amateur videos showing fireworks not visible during the day:


The locals were saying on the news how they’d mistaken the ash for Sakurajima, something I did too as I was driving home from work in Tarumizu. Being so close to Sakurajima, I didn’t see anything on this scale during the day, and thought for a moment that I’d just missed something epic just after leaving work! By the time I got back into Kanoya I realized that the direction and distance of the ash plume was too far off to be coming from Sakurajima. A quick check on the Tarumizu city webcam to confirm… yup, but from where? Kirishima? Definitely wasn’t impossible, as there has been noticeable activity since 2009, but I don’t think they were expecting anything on this scale. I am excited to see how the next few days play out there. I’d like to make a trip up this weekend if possible.

Now it looks like my full-course hike of Kirishima will be delayed even longer…

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