National

Small-scale eruption occurs again at Mount Hakone: weather agency

Kyodo

A small eruption occurred again on Mount Hakone on Wednesday morning and further eruptions could follow, the weather agency warned, a day after it raised its alert level for the volcano in a hot spring resort area southwest of Tokyo.

The Meteorological Agency kept the alert level at 3 on a 5-point scale, which led the town of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture to expand the area subject to an evacuation order to a 1-kilometer radius of the Owakudani district, from the earlier 300-meter radius.

The agency detected the latest eruption between around 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Wednesday by a device measuring air movements. Volcanic ash was also seen in camera footage taken in the Owakudani area from around 5:10 a.m.

A small-scale eruption also occurred between late Monday and Tuesday at Mt. Hakone, about 80 kilometers from Tokyo. Geological evidence suggests it last erupted between the late 12th century and 13th century.

The agency started warning of increased volcanic activity at the popular tourist spot in early May. The situation is starting to affect the local area, with some accommodation facilities no longer able to get water from hot spring sources because suppliers are being hampered in conducting pipe maintenance work.

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