By Mark Hodge @mrhodgey

A VOLCANO explodes into life as it sprays burning hot ash high into the air - followed by a deafening shockwave

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Videographer / Director: Marc Szeglat

Producer: Nick Johnson

Editor: Ian Phillips

Clouds of burning hot ash are propelled into the sky by the powerful Sakurajima volcano

Shot by filmmaker Marc Szeglat, 47, this incredible footage shows the highly active Sakurajima volcano on the Japanese island of Kyushu.

Shocking: The volcano explodes like an atomic bomb

The German videographer was able to capture the rare phenomenon of volcanic lightning, as well as an explosive shockwave which rippled through the sky.

Sakurajima, translated as Cherry Island, has been erupting on a regular basis since 1955 and is a constant danger to the nearby city of Kagoshima, which has a population of over 600,000.

Weapon of mass destruction: The volcano explodes into life emitting a huge cloud or rock and ash
Sakurajima emits a deafening shockwave as it erupts.
Feeling swell: The highly active Sakurajima starts to erupt

In 1914, the then-dormant volcano emitted the largest eruption in Japan during the twentieth century.

Marc explained what it was like to photograph such an active and dangerous volcano - which erupted between March 2 and 7 2015.

He said: “There was a delay of several seconds between seeing the eruption and the arrival of the shockwave and sound. 

“This was very exciting as I didn’t know how strong the shockwave would be.

Volcanic lightning cuts through the black smoke and burning ash
Prickly heat: The lightning and the hot molten lava combine to make a striking image

“But when it happened I felt the breath of wind from the interior of the earth like an extremely brief squall. 

"After that, my friend and I laughed loudly and we were very happy. 

Lightning breaks through the ash and smoke as lava spills out from Sakurajima's opening

“The lightning is very rare and does not appear in a normal ash cloud but in clouds from pyroclastic flows – which are mixtures of rock fragments and hot gases.

“Pyroclastic flows are the most dangerous hazards on volcanoes and so I was a little bit afraid when a big one was happening in front of me - but in fact the whole experience was a great adventure.”

Volcanic lightning occurs during pyroclastic flows which are mixtures of rock fragments and hot gases
Photographer Marc Szeglat poses for the camera a safe distance away from Sakurajima