Mount Aso, Japan's largest volcano, suddenly erupted at approximately 9:40 a.m. on Monday, September 14. This is the first time in 36 years that it has erupted.
Video of the eruption was captured by cameras installed in the parking lot of an observation area overlooking the volcano.
Located on the western island of Kyushu about 1,200 km from Tokyo, Mount Aso boasts one of the largest calderas in the world. The 120-kilometer circumference of its caldera is home to towns, farms and resort areas frequented by tourists from all over the world.
The eruptions forced tourists to evacuate, but not before they posted some spectacular photos to Instagram.
The eruption could be seen from all over the lowlands surrounding Mount Aso's volcanic cone.
Ash also drifted over the communities that reside within the caldera.
Ash fell like raindrops [all over my car]. Gulp!
Many visitors from other countries uploaded photos to Instagram of the eruption, including this tour group from Taiwan:
This is like witnessing a miracle.
Instagram user aokaeru made a number of posts to Instagram featuring spectacular video of the eruption:
aokaeru quickly became an Instagram hit, and was approached by several different news organizations wanting to know if they could use his video.
Photos of the eruption were uploaded in real time.
My cousin was also freaked out when he saw the eruption.
While an area measuring 4 kilometers around the eruption has been declared off-limits, the people that live within the caldera have no easy way to protect their homes in the event of a larger eruption.
I just arrived in Kumamoto, and Mount Aso seems to be… erupting?
Locals will have to learn to live with clouds of ash for the foreseeable future.
This is the first time Mount Aso has erupted since 1979.
This aerial view shows just how large Mount Aso's caldera is.
Oiwan Lam contributed to this article.