Four small eruptions observed at Sakurajima volcano

Kyodo

Four small eruptions were observed at Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture early Sunday, the Meteorological Agency said.

But the agency said there is no major change in volcanic activity at the 1,117-meter-high mountain in southern Kyushu.

The four eruptions occurred shortly after midnight Saturday, around 2:30 a.m., past 3 a.m. and past 6 a.m., shooting ash some 300 to 600 meters into the air, according to the agency.

On Saturday, the Kagoshima Municipal Government lifted an evacuation advisory for areas around Sakurajima following a state-backed panel’s assessment Friday that the risk of an eruption seemed to be diminishing.

The agency is urging continued caution, however, maintaining the warning level at four on a five-point scale and instructing nearby residents to remain ready to evacuate quickly if need be. The warning level was raised from three on Aug. 15.

After the warning level was raised, similar small-scale eruptions occurred Wednesday and Friday.