Photos: Clean-up begins after volcanic eruption in Japan coats city in ash

The eruption yesterday spewed a plume 5,000 meters into the air.

(Image: Kyodo News/AP)

CLEAN-UP WORKERS today started removing a layer of grey ash that spread across a city in southern Japan after a volcano erupted at the weekend, spewing a plume 5,000 metres into the air.

Kagoshima city mobilised more than 60 street sweepers as well as water-spraying vehicles to remove ash that coated the streets, officials said.

The eruption of the 1,117-metre Mount Sakurajima overlooking the city happened on Sunday afternoon, spewing the highest ash plume from the volcano since an eruption in 2000.

Television footage showed the mushroom-shaped grey plume shooting upwards against the backdrop of a clear blue sky.

A large amount of volcanic ash fell in the northern and central parts of the city, causing a delay in train services and temporary poor visibility, forcing car drivers to use their headlights.

(Image: Kyodo News/AP)

Residents turned to masks and umbrellas to protect themselves against the ash cloud, but there were no reports of injuries or damage, city officials said.

“The volcanic activity had been subdued by Monday morning,” a local meteorological agency official said.

“There is no sign of large scale eruptions in the near future, but we have not yet lifted a two-kilometre no-go zone just in case.”

The eruption also caused a small amount of lava to run down the side of the crater.

It was the highly active volcano’s 500th eruption this year. Japan is a seismically active country with regular earthquakes and eruptions from volcanoes that dot the archipelago.

Kagoshima city is about 950 kilometres southwest of Tokyo.

Photos: Clean-up begins after volcanic eruption in Japan coats city in ash
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  • Japan eruption

    Smoke billows from mount Sakurajima on the southern Japanese main island of Kyushu yesterday (Image: Kyodo News/AP).
  • Japan eruption

    Volcanic smoke from Mount Sakurajima flow into an urban area in Kagoshima (Image: Kyodo News/AP).
  • Japan volcano

    Drivers use headlights early evening as the streets are covered by ash (AP Photo/Kyodo News).
  • Japan volcano

    City officials clean the pavement covered by ash after the eruption (AP Photo/Kyodo News).
  • Japan volcano

    A store worker wearing a mask sweeps the pavement today (Image: Kyodo News/AP).
  • Japan volcano

    City officials wearing masks clean the pavement(AP Photo/Kyodo News).
  • Japan eruption

    (Image: Kyodo News/AP)
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