12 Oct, TOKYO – Japan’s weather agency raised the alert level for a volcano in southwestern Japan on Wednesday following an eruption of the volcano earlier in the day.
The alert level for Mt. Shinmoe, one of the 50 active volcanoes constantly under watch of the weather agency, was raised from two to three on a scale of five, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
It means that people are instructed not to approach the mountain and large flying rocks and pyroclastic flows could hit the area within 2 km of the crater, according to the agency.
The agency also warned about further strengthening of volcanic activities in the area.
Mt. Shinmoe, located at the borders of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, erupted around 5:34 a.m. with the plume rising some 300 meters above the crater and volcanic ashes falling in some areas nearby, according to the agency.
It was the first time since 2011 that the volcano had a major eruption.
The volcano had been showing signs of intensified activities since late September, with volcanic earthquakes detected over 100 times a day.
The agency raised alert level of the volcano last Thursday from one to two on a scale of five, which means that people are warned not to go near the crater of the volcano.
No injuries or damage have been reported so far.