Kagoshima City, Japan -- A volcano in southern Japan has erupted, creating a spectacular plume of ash 3.1 miles high.
The ash cloud from Sakurajima, an already active volcano in the prefecture of Kyushu, is the highest volcanic plume ever recorded for the volcano.
According to the local meteorological observatory in Kagoshima, the eruption began with the large plume of smoke rising upwards to 16000 feet above the crater.
The meteorological observatory also reported a pyroclastic flow traveling less than a mile southeast down the slope of the 3665 foot high volcano.
Local residents in Kagoshima City held towels to their mouths and wore masks to protect themselves from soot and ash as smoke filled the streets temporarily.