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Volcano erupts on southwestern Japan island, no injuries reported

Sakurajima volcano, Kagoshima, Kyushu. Photo: Japan Visitor. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Jan 12, 2020, Kyodo. A volcano on a southwestern Japan island erupted Saturday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, with no immediate reports of injuries, Kyodo News reported.

Rocks were thrown about 300 meters from the crater of Mt. Shintake on Kuchinoerabu Island in Kagoshima Prefecture following the eruption around 3:05 p.m., the agency said, adding it had not confirmed any pyroclastic flow.

No evacuation order was issued. As of the end of last month, 100 people were registered as residents on the 36-square-kilometer island.

It was the first eruption on the island since Feb. 2 last year.

The agency maintained the alert level for the volcano at 3 on a scale of 5, which asks climbers to refrain from scaling the mountain, after raising the level from 2 in October following a major earthquake.

The agency warned of possible flying rocks and pyroclastic flows within about a 2-kilometer radius of the crater.

In May 2015, all residents of the island were evacuated to Yakushima Island, some 12 km to the east, after explosive eruptions from the volcano. Kuchinoerabu Island is located some 130 km south-southwest of the city of Kagoshima.

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