• Kyodo

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The rainy season has started in southwestern Japan, the Meteorological Agency said Tuesday, arousing concern of volcanic mud flows on Kuchinoerabu Island where Mount Shindake erupted late last week.

Friday’s eruption spewed out volcanic ash and pyroclastic flow, forcing all 137 residents to evacuate.

The early summer rainy period typically lasts from early June to late July in most parts of Japan, covering the southwestern region first before expanding to encompass the east and northeast, except Hokkaido, the Meteorological Agency said.

In the Okinawa and Amami island chains, the season starts and ends about a month earlier than elsewhere, the agency said.