Here in southern Japan, Kagoshima City, is the very beautiful, interesting Sakurajima volcano. We can see it from one of our windows. We can see it from many of the roads. We can see it from the waterfront where the ferries come and go. The best view is up on the hill by our chapel. We take pictures of it almost every day. It seems new and different every day. The days we don’t see it, and don’t take pictures, are heavy rain days.
It’s a very active volcano, the most active one in Japan. It spews big beautiful clouds of ash several times a day, which sometimes blows out to sea but usually blows toward land, and us. There are times we have to dust ash off our car.
Strain meters installed in the volcano a few years ago usually register the “alert status” at about a level 3. Recently the Japan Meteorological Agency has raised the alert status to a level 4, on a 5 point scale. They say there have been new earthquakes and rapid inflation of the volcano similar to the 1914 eruption which caused death and damage. They temporarily evacuated some of the people living on the volcano island. If there is a big eruption the ash could also severely affect Kagoshima and other nearby cities. The strain meters have shown changes. They suspect magma is rising in the volcano. They say we can watch the volcano on a webcam. As of today the swelling magma has slowed, but we will be on alert for the next two weeks.
Our local church members and our mission president have reminded us to have a good supply of water, extra emergency food, and some money on hand. D&C 38:30 “but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has taught us for many years about emergency preparedness and self-reliance. (See https://www.lds.org/topics/emergency-preparedness?lang=eng ) Most of us have purchased and prepared extra water storage, food supply, and first aid kits, and other things.
When a disaster strikes it’s too late to prepare. The time to prepare is now.
Very visible eruption.
Less visible eruptions recently.