Volcano Eruption in Japan on December 18 2018 01:17 PM (UTC).
A volcano erupted on a remote island in southern Japan on Thursday (Jan 17), the meteorological agency said, but the warning level was kept below the scale requiring evacuation. Public broadcaster NHK said there were no reports of injuries or damage yet from the eruption of the volcano on Kuchinoerabu island in the far south of Japan. "There have been eruptions there since last year but we sent an alert out (this morning) for this latest eruption as it will have a wider impact," said Jun Fujimatsu, an official at the meteorological agency's volcanic activity division. "We have maintained a level three warning, which means a ban on entering the volcano area," he told AFP. "There are several craters at the volcano ... The danger zone is two kilometres from the Shindake crater," he added. "We do not think the latest eruption would engulf the entire island."The Japan Meteorological Agency said the volcano, roughly 1,000km southwest of Tokyo, erupted at 9.20am. Live images showed thick black smoke billowing out of the mountain. The eruption had released pyroclastic flows, or flows of super-heated ash and gas, Kyodo News said, but the flows had not reached residential areas. It was not immediately clear if residents of the island were evacuating on Thursday. The volcano has at times prompted the agency to lift its warnings to its highest level of five, but there was no immediate indication it planned to raise the level after the morning eruption. The same peak erupted explosively in 2015, sending ash and smoke thousands of metres into the sky and releasing potentially deadly pyroclastic flows that reached the sea. The island's entire population was evacuated at the time but eventually returned. Some 100 people now live there. Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 constantly.
Mount Shindake, a volcano on the island of Kuchinoerabu in Japan's southwestern prefecture Kagoshima, had an eruption on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said. The volcano erupted around 1637 local time, with plumes of smoke rising some 2,000 meters above the crater and pyroclastic flows extending one km from the west side of the crater, according to the JMA. Local weather agency sent a helicopter to check the volcano and said no abnormality was observed at the crater, but warned of further possible eruptions. The JMA maintained its warning at level 3 out of a maximum of 5 and is warning people to stay away from the mountain and be careful of flying volcanic rocks and pyroclastic flows within a radius of two km from the volcano's crater. The local government, meanwhile, has advised residents on the island to temporarily evacuate.