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Check Out These Wild Videos and Photos of a Japanese Volcano's Massive Eruption

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the plume was 16,000 feet high

(Credit: Raw video via YouTube)

(Credit: Raw video via YouTube)

TOKYO (TheBlaze/AP) — A volcano erupted in southwestern Japan Sunday afternoon and coated a nearby city with a layer of ash.

(Credit: Raw video via YouTube)

(Credit: Raw video via YouTube)

Kyodo News says lava flowed about 1 kilometer from the fissure. It was the volcano's most powerful eruption in decades, the Weather Channel reports, pushing a plume about 16,000 feet high...Sakurajima's tallest ever plume since records began in 1955.

(Credit: Raw video via YouTube)

People in Kagoshima city wore raincoats and used umbrellas to shield themselves from the ash after the Sakurajima volcano erupted. Local media said drivers had to turn on their headlights and reported the ash resembled driving through snow at night.

(Credit: Live Leak)

Kyodo News reports that railway operators stopped service in the city while ash was removed from the tracks. It says no one has been hurt.

Japan has frequent seismic activity. Kyodo cited the Japan Meteorological Agency as saying there are no signs of a larger eruption at Sakurajima but similar activity may continue.

This report from Japanese TV shows the initial moment of eruption:

A report from the Associated Press:

Here's a take from Sky News:

This raw video apparently depicts the explosion closer up as well as the giant ash plume from several vantage points:

This clip captures the aftermath in a nearby town as the ash falls like thick snowflakes and blocks out the sun:

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