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500 eruptions in 231 days?! Japan volcano coats city with ash — again

Japan Meteorological Agency via AFP - Getty Images

Smoke rising from Mount Sakurajima on Japan's southern island of Kyushu on Aug. 19, 2013.

Kyodo News via AP

Drivers use headlights early on Sunday evening as the streets of Kagoshima are covered by ash.

Residents in a southern Japanese city were busy washing ash off the streets Monday after a nearby volcano spewed a record-high smoke plume into the sky.

Ash wafted as high as 3 miles above the Sakurajima volcano in the southern city of Kagoshima on Sunday afternoon, forming its highest plume since the Japan Meteorological Agency started keeping records in 2006. Lava flowed just over half a mile from the fissure, and several huge volcanic rocks rolled down the mountainside.

Though the eruption was more massive than usual, residents of the city of about 600,000 are used to hearing from their 3,664-foot neighbor. Kagoshima officials said in a statement that this was Sakurajima's 500th eruption this year alone. Read the full story.

Kyodo News via AP

Volcanic smoke from Mount Sakurajima flows into an urban area of Kagoshima on Sunday.

Japan Meteorological Agency via AFP - Getty Images

Ash wafted as high as 3 miles above the Sakurajima volcano on Sunday.

A city in southern Japan becomes covered in ash after the nearby Sakurajima volcano erupts Sunday.