Force of na­ture in Ja­pan

Vol­canic erup­tion spreads ash over four cities and towns

Times Colonist - - World -

TOKYO — A vol­cano in south­west­ern Ja­pan is erupt­ing for the first time in six years, spew­ing ash over nearby farms, cities and towns.

Ja­panese broad­caster TBS showed ele­men­tary school stu­dents wear­ing hel­mets and masks Thurs­day on the way to their school at the foot of the Shin­moedake vol­cano.

Res­i­dents also de­scribed hear­ing rum­bles from the vol­cano and ash fell on at least four cities and towns in Miyazaki pre­fec­ture.

Street clean­ers swept ash from city streets, and farm­ers used leaf blow­ers to clear the grow­ing piles of ash from the tops of their plas­tic green­houses.

The vol­cano on the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki pre­fec­tures started erupt­ing Wed­nes­day for the first time in six years.

On Thurs­day, an ash plume rose 2,000 me­tres from the crater, the Ja­pan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Agency said.

The agency has raised the vol­canic alert level from 2 to 3 on a scale of 5.

Level 3 warns peo­ple to not ap­proach the vol­cano.

It said py­ro­clas­tic flow, which is an emis­sion of hot gases and vol­canic mat­ter at high speed, is pos­si­ble within two kilo­me­tres of the crater. Emis­sions of ash and vol­canic rocks were fore­cast through to­day for a wider area, but the lo­ca­tions at risk would de­pend on wind con­di­tions and al­ti­tude.

The seis­mi­cally ac­tive area around the Pa­cific known as the Ring of Fire in­cludes ac­tive vol­ca­noes in Ja­pan as well as two caus­ing mass evac­u­a­tions in In­done­sia and Van­u­atu in re­cent weeks.

Vol­canic smoke rises from the Shin­moedake vol­cano af­ter its erup­tion on the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki pre­fec­tures, in south­west­ern Ja­pan, on Thurs­day. The vol­cano erupted Wed­nes­day for the first time in six years and spread ash over nearby cities and towns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.