MIYAKONOJO, Miyazaki Pref. (Kyodo) The city of Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, issued an evacuation advisory Thursday to about 2,520 residents in 1,150 households as continued rain could trigger mudslides of accumulated ash from Mount Shinmoe’s recent eruptions.

The evacuation advisory, issued at 11 a.m., was the first aimed at averting damage from possible mudslides since the volcano started a series of eruptions Jan. 26.

The town of Takaharu, Miyazaki Prefecture, meanwhile issued an alert urging around 250 residents of 99 households and a business establishment to prepare for evacuation to avoid being hit by mudslides.

Miyakonojo officials said 19 mm of rain had fallen in some areas as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday and was expected to continue into the afternoon.

The city issued an alert Wednesday night urging elderly and other residents needing assistance to start evacuating the area, while calling on others to prepare for evacuation.

The Miyazaki Local Meteorological Observatory cautioned that hourly rainfall of 4 mm or more was expected to continue through Thursday night, possibly triggering mudslides in locations where large amounts of ash have accumulated.

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