Volcano in southwestern Japan erupts, residents advised to evacuate

TOKYO, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — 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 4:37 p.m. 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. As of November, a total of 108 people were living on the island, according to the government data.

No injuries or damage have been reported so far.

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