Ash plume rises 5,600ft as vol­cano erupts for first time in six years

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - WORLD NEWS -

A vol­cano in south-western Ja­pan has erupted for the first time in six years, spread­ing ash over nearby cities and towns.

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

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

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

Yes­ter­day, an ash plume rose 5,600ft (1,700m) from the crater, the Ja­pan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Agency said.

The agency has raised the vol­canic alert level from two to three on a scale of five. Level three warns peo­ple to not ap­proach the vol­cano. Py­ro­clas­tic flow, which is an emis­sion of hot gases and vol­canic mat­ter at a high speed, is pos­si­ble within 1.2 miles (2km) of the crater.

Emis­sions of ash and vol­canic rocks were fore­cast un­til 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

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