On Sunday night, a volcano on Japan’s main southern island of Kyushu erupted, spewing ash and rocks. Residents in nearby towns were advised to evacuate because there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The Sakurajima volcano erupted around 8:05 p.m., sending large rocks as far as 2.5 km (1.5 miles) away in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency.
On Japan’s NHK public television, footage showed orange flames flashing near the crater and dark ash smoke billowing from the mountaintop into the night sky. ‘We will prioritize the lives of the people and do everything we can to assess the situation and respond to any emergency,’ Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told reporters. He urged residents in the area to pay close attention to the most recent update from local authorities in order to protect their lives.
According to the agency, the eruption alert has been raised to the highest level of five, and approximately 120 residents in two towns adjacent to the volcano have been advised to leave their homes. The agency issued a warning about falling volcanic rocks within 3 km (1.8 miles) of the crater, as well as possible lava, ash, and searing gas flows within 2 km (1.2 miles). Sakurajima, about 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) southwest of Tokyo, is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and has erupted several times. It used to be an island, but after an eruption in 1914, it became a peninsula.