November 28, 2015

2078 JAPAN (Kyūshū) - Sakurajima Volcano

Sakurajima (lit. "Cherry Island") is an active stratovolcano and a former island, which was connected with the Osumi Peninsula through the lava flows of the 1914 eruption. The volcanic activity still continues, dropping large amounts of volcanic ash on the surroundings. As of September 2015, the volcano is under a Level 3 (orange) alert by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The summit of Sakurajima has three peaks, Kita-dake (northern peak, the highest - 1,117m), Naka-dake (central peak) and Minami-dake (southern peak) which is active now.

The 1914 eruption was the most powerful in 20th-century Japan. Almost all residents had left the island in the previous days, in response to several large earthquakes that warned them that an eruption was imminent. Initially, the eruption was very explosive, generating eruption columns and pyroclastic flows, but after a very large earthquake on January 13, 1914 which killed 35 people, it became effusive, generating a large lava flow.

The island grew, engulfing several smaller islands nearby, and eventually becoming connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. Parts of Kagoshima bay became significantly shallower, and tides were affected, becoming higher as a result. During the final stages of the eruption, the centre of the Aira Caldera sank by about 60cm, due to subsidence caused by the emptying out of the underlying magma chamber.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting sukiyaki, is part of the series Japanese Gastronomy, about which I wrote here. About the last stamp I don't know anything. 

Sakurajima - Wikipedia

Sender: Akemi / ameiSK (postcrossing) JP-751188
Sent from Kitaakita (Tōhoku / Japan), on 10.11.2015

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