• Kyodo


Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa said two camera-mounted drones will be used on Friday to inspect the evacuation zone around the Owakudani hot-spring district on Mount Hakone.

The alert level for the mountain is at 2, advising against entry to areas around the volcanic vent. The Meteorological Agency raised the volcanic alert on May 6 from 1 on its scale of 5.

Two companies are each providing a drone for the project without charge, Kuroiwa said Tuesday.

Company employees and prefectural officials will fly them over the evacuation area to ascertain the situation on the ground.

The operation is being conducted to prepare for the installation of sensors to record volcanic activity in the area.

Japan has been experiencing a series of volcanic eruptions.

The Meteorological Agency said volcanic ash indicated that Mount Asama, on the border between Nagano and Gunma prefectures, underwent a small eruption Tuesday morning, just weeks after an eruption on Kuchinoerabu Island in Kagoshima Prefecture on May 29, and an eruption last September of Mount Ontake on the border between Nagano and Gifu prefectures that killed 57 people and left six missing.