The Washington Post

Japan raises alert level after Sakurajima erupts

- BY SAMMY WESTFALL

A volcano in western Japan erupted on Sunday evening, sending a large plume of black smoke into the sky and spewing rocks.

The volcano, named Sakurajima, is located on the southweste­rn island of Kyushu, about 600 miles from Tokyo. It’s one of the Japan’s most active volcanoes.

The Japan Meteorolog­ical Agency raised the volcanic alert from level 3 to level 5 — the highest alert level, which has only been seen once before in 2015 for a different volcano, the Japan Times reported.

Based on analysis of data points including seismic activity and crustal movements, the agency later said that a large-scale eruption was not imminent on Sakurajima.

The volcano erupted Sunday at about 8:05 p.m. local time, according to the meteorolog­ical agency. Videos of the eruption show bright orange lava spurting from the volcano. The agency asked residents to be cautious against pyroclasti­c flows — a hot and mobile mixture of rock, gas and ash — within about 1.2 miles of the site.

Local reports cited volcanic stones falling as far as 1.5 miles from the site of the volcano, and some nearby areas have been advised to evacuate. Most of the city of Kagoshima is separated from the volcano by a bay.

There have been no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Nuclear regulators announced that Sendai Nuclear Power plant, about 31 miles from the volcano, had seen no irregulari­ties, Reuters reported.

 ?? Kyodo/reuters ?? A remote camera image shows a large plume of black smoke after Sakurajima, a volcano in southweste­rn Japan, erupted on Sunday.
Kyodo/reuters A remote camera image shows a large plume of black smoke after Sakurajima, a volcano in southweste­rn Japan, erupted on Sunday.

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