Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Locals ordered away as Japanese volcano erupts


Mount Shinmoedake in southern Japan yesterday erupted for the first time in six years, shooting a plume of ash several hundred meters into the air and sparking warnings to local residents.

People were ordered to stay away from the volcano after it rumbled to life at 5:34am as Japan’s Meteorological Agency said air blasts caused by the eruption could shatter windows.

“The ash plume reached a height of 300m when the volcano erupted,” an agency official told reporters, adding that the eruption would continue and “become more active.”

Ash deposits would spread as far as 2km from the crater, the agency said.

Authorities issued a level-three alert, meaning that locals should avoid approaching the volcano.

They detected 90 small tremors on Thursday last week near the volcano, which featured in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

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

On Sept. 27, 2014, Japan suffered its deadliest eruption in almost 90 years when Mount Ontake, in central Nagano Prefecture, burst unexpectedly to life.

An estimated 63 people were killed in the shock eruption, which occurred as the peak was packed with hikers out to see the region’s spectacular autumn colors.

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