Ash began falling over Kagoshima within an hour of the eruption

Ash began falling over Kagoshima within an hour of the eruption
One resident of Kagoshima was "completely covered with ash" after Japan's Sakurajima volcano erupted

Volcanic ash has rained down on a city after Japan's Sakurajima erupted and belched a massive column of ash two miles into the sky.

People in Kagoshima - five miles away from the volcano - posted photos on social media showing their ash-covered clothing or cars, and the particles falling in the streets.

One resident tweeted: "Sakurajima's ashes!!! Because I forgot my umbrella, I was completely covered with ash. The second photo is an ash-covered bag."

Sakurajima, of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupted at about 4pm local time.



Officials had already issued a volcanic ash warning following a number of minor eruptions this month.

Sakurajima, which translates into "cherry blossom island", is about five miles from Kagoshima, a city of about half a million people, and 30 miles from a nuclear power plant.

It was once an island but lava flows turned it into a peninsula in 1914.

Sakurajima, in southern Kyushu, is one of few volcanoes in the world that are in constant activity. It is considered a very dangerous volcano.

During Friday's eruption the ash column extended more than two miles into the sky, according to Japan's meteorological agency.

Officials said ash was likely to fall in Kagoshima within an hour of the eruption.

Ash began falling over Kagoshima within an hour of the eruption

Ash began falling over Kagoshima within an hour of the eruption
Small amounts were expected in Hioki, Ichiki Kushikino, Satsumasendai and Aira.

There have been a number of eruptions at Sakurajima - set on a peninsula of the same name - this month.

The current warning level is three out of five, meaning "minor volcanic eruption".

There has been a number of major eruptions over the years.

Volcanic lightning was seen at an eruption of Sakurajima in February 2016.

In that event, fountains of lava shot into the night sky.

Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and one of the few that are at present in constant activity, according to Volcano Discovery.

Eruptions have been recorded as far back as the 8th century and it has frequently dropped ash on Kagoshima.