Japan’s Sakurajima Volcano Erupts, Rocks Hurled 2.5km

Nearby towns on high alert as Sakurajima volcano erupts Sunday

A major tourist attraction, Sakurajima volcanic mountain in southern Japan erupted on Sunday prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to issue a top-level alert.

Located in Kagoshima, it erupted just after 8pm (local time) with locals urged to evacuate their homes. Prior to this, the mountain frequently spits out smoke and ash.

The agency raised its alert for Sakurajima to level five, the top level, which urges evacuations. Before the eruption it was at level three, which bans entry to the mountain.

Public broadcaster NHK reported that the eruption has caused large volcanic rocks to fly 2.5 kilometers from the crater.

Ring Of Fire

JMA has called on people within 3 kilometres from the Minamidake crater to watch out for large rocks. The zone includes part of the Arimura and Furusato districts in Kagoshima City.

“Residential areas of Arimura and Furusato towns within three kilometres of the summit crater of Sakurajima should be on high alert,” the JMA said.

According to Kagoshima City, there are 77 residents in the two towns, AFP reported.

Japan has scores of active volcanoes and sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” where a large proportion of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.

Sakurajima was formerly an island, but due to previous eruptions is now attached to a peninsula.

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