Japan got just a little bit bigger this week, as a volcano created a brand new island about 600 miles (970 kilometers) south of Tokyo.
The island is about 660 feet (200 meters) in diameter, according to the Japanese coast guard. It sits off the coast of Nishinoshima, itself a small, uninhabited island in a group of about 30 islands known as the Bonin Islands, or the Ogasawara chain.
Asked by the media if the new island will soon get a name, Japanese government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga replied that officials will first wait to see how long it sticks around, since new islands have a tendency to disappear back below the waves in a short time.
A volcanic eruption spewed flames into the southern Japanese sky and blanketed a nearby city with ash.
Debris filled the air in Kagoshima City, wreaking havoc with transportation, forcing residents to wear facemasks and prompting extensive cleanup efforts.
The Mount Sakurajima volcano is in a state of near-perpetual eruption, with more than 600 minor explosions this year, the BBC reported. But when it started spewing ash Tuesday at 7:15 p.m., residents knew it wasn’t a trivial flare-up. The eruption sent 18-inch rocks more than a mile through the air
A spectacular volcanic eruption is currently under way in Japan. The mountain Kirishima is firing red-hot magma and volcanic bombs into the air.
Mount Kirishima, a volcano on the southern island of Kyushu, began erupting on Jan. 26. A giant ash cloud poured from the volcano, prompting the Tokyo VAAC to issue an ash warning for places above 25,000 feet (7.6 kilometers).
Volcanic material shot from the crater, triggering pyroclastic flows, according to the blog Big Think.
The explosion shook buildings for miles and happened in Sakurajima Minamidakein Kagoshima at 4:45p.m. on October 3rd. The smoke went 3000m above the mountain. The explosion of the caldera near the top of the mountain, which is one of two craters of Minamidake, last erupted on February 22nd. The shock-wave was huge and it was possible to hear the sound of the explosion in Kagoshima city which is on the other side of the ocean.