Japanese residents fled the remote southern island of Kuchinoerabu on Friday following the eruption of Mount Shindake -- and the spectacular eruption was captured on video.
Mount Shindake spewed black clouds as high as 5.6 miles into the sky as authorities evacuated nearly 140 people from the island, with one man reportedly suffering minor burns but all others believed to be safe. Video captured by the Japan Meteorological Agency and published by the Japanese public broadcaster NHK shows the initial explosion mushrooming into a towering cloud of ash.
Watch the full video, above.
"There was a really loud, 'dong' sound of an explosion," Nobuaki Hayashi, a local village chief, told NHK, "and then black smoke rose, darkening the sky ... It smells of sulphur."
"I heard a loud boom and when I looked at the mountains, I saw a gigantic plume rising above," an innkeeper told the Japan Times. "There was an eruption last year, but this time the sound was really loud ... I thought I’d be dead if I got caught in the cloud."
Experts told NHK they'd seen signs an eruption was likely, including swelling of the ground and volcanic earthquakes.