Evacuation after a volcanic eruption in southern Japan

Dozens of people were ordered to leave their homes after a fiery volcanic eruption in southern Japan on Sunday, when the national meteorological agency issued a high-level warning for the mountain.
Television footage showed red-hot rocks and dark plumes erupting from the Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima, which erupted just after 8:00 p.m. local time.

There were no immediate reports of damage, according to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed the government to “work closely with the local municipality to prevent damage, such as through evacuation,” Isozaki told reporters.
The seaside city has ordered residents to evacuate the Arimura area and part of the Furusato area, which is home to 51 people, local media reported.
Sakurajima Volcano often spews smoke and ash and is a major tourist attraction.
Sunday’s explosion scattered large chunks of ash about 2.5 kilometers from the crater, with smoke rising about 300 meters and merging with clouds, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
The agency has raised the alert level for Sakurajima to level five, the top level, requiring evacuation.

It used to be on the third level, which forbade entering the mountain.

Red haze and an ash cloud are visible over the Sakurajima volcano.

Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanoes in Japan, eruptions of various strengths occur regularly, including the last one on July 24, 2022. Source: A MONKEY / AP

Between Saturday and Sunday afternoon, there were four volcanic eruptions, while the plume reached a height of 1200 meters.

“Residential areas in the cities of Arimura and Furusato within three kilometers of the crater on the top of Sakurajima should be on high alert,” Tsuyoshi Nakatsuji of the JMA Volcano Observatory told reporters.
Nakatsuji said the JMA observed the volcano swelling last week, which is evidence of magma accumulating.
“But the swelling didn’t go away after the last eruption,” he said.
“We’ll be watching this closely.”
Japan has many active volcanoes and is located in the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where most of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.
Sakurajima used to be an island, but due to previous eruptions, it is now attached to a peninsula.

Japan last issued a volcanic evacuation warning when Kuchinoerabu Island, also in Kagoshima, erupted in 2015.