As Reuters notes, Sakurajima erupts “almost constantly,” but based on the mountain’s “increased activity,” experts say this eruption could be “larger than usual.”
The Japan Meteorological Agency has raised the warning level from 3 to 4 and because these arbitrarily assigned numbers are largely meaningless to the anyone who doesn’t track volcanic activity, the agency is kind enough to provide a description for each level: 4 means “prepare to evacuate.”
“The possibility for a large-scale eruption has become extremely high for Sakurajima,” the Agency warned on Saturday. As for what fate would befall someone who failed to heed an evacuation warning, well let’s just say that molten stones “could rain down on areas near the mountain’s base.”
But the real problem is Sakurajima’s location – it’s just 50 kilometers from the Sendai nuclear power plant.