Volcano still rumbling as some return

Kyodo

Volcanic activity continued Sunday at Mount Usu in Hokkaido, with the volcano at times spewing out black smoke, volcanologists said.

Experts from the Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions and other groups monitoring the mountain are on alert, studying the smoke and magma movement, with indications of changes in the earth’s crust in the area.

Residents of Date city near the 732-meter volcano were allowed to temporarily return to their homes, from which they had been evacuated.

In an area where the evacuation order was lifted Thursday, residents busied themselves Sunday in fixing up their homes and carrying out agricultural chores.

The western side of the volcano has been showing signs of a possible explosive eruption.

Experts have noted a rise in the earth’s crust in the area.

Mount Usu has been spewing ash, steam and smoke since erupting March 31 for the first time in nearly 23 years.