A brief update while I’m out of town …
If Japan didn’t need more geologic (and man-made) disaster, it now appears that the Shinmoedake cone at Kirishima has started erupting again. The volcano had been relatively quiet for the past few weeks, but **SPECULATION** potentially the Mw8.9 earthquake could have brought on some renewed activity (this is clearly speculation because we have no idea what the circumstances surrounding the new eruption might have been). Hundreds of people had to leave their homes after new explosive activity commenced. The noise from this new activity apparently shattered windows up to 10 km from the volcano and produced a ~4 km / 13,200 foot plume. You can see timelapse of the activity from yesterday* (watch starting ~2:18 for the big explosion) and with some images as well (thanks to Eruptions reader Sherine) from the second set of explosions that the volcano has produced since Sunday – fairly impressive sight, with large bombs being thrown from the volcano. The Kirishima webcams still appear to be operational (sixth and seventh from bottom) so you can keep an eye on the activity.
UPDATE 3/15/2011: Considering my comments appear to be getting eaten by the filter, I’ll comment here. Regarding the M6.2 earthquake near Fuji, the current USGS information has not been reviewed, so there is likely a lot of error on the horizontal and vertical location. Also, taking a look at the moment tensor solution, the earthquake appears to be strike-slip, and if magma was moving, you would expect normal fault motion as the magma forces its way through the crust. However, it is another data point to examine in Japan.
As I’ve mentioned, there are plenty of ways to help those who are suffering from the multiple disasters in Japan.
* = Note, the original video that I linked came from the Times Now Online. That video was of the previous eruption in January. This is pretty underhanded out them – you can compare their video from today with video from late January. Thanks to Eruptions readers for noticing.
Top left: The plume from Kirishima as seen on March 14, 2011. The volcano has begun to erupt after a brief hiatus.