• Kyodo

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Another powerful eruption was observed at Mount Shinmoe in southwestern Japan early Thursday, with ash sent spiralling into a plume around 5,000 meters high, the Meteorological Agency said.

The eruption at the 1,421-meter volcano that straddles Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures was the largest since March 25, according to the agency.

Mount Shinmoe erupted violently for the first time in about seven years on March 6, and the agency said a week later that it was expected to continue explosive eruptions for several months or more.

The agency maintained the existing alert level for the volcano, at level 3 — which restricts access to the mountain. It also issued warnings of large flying rocks within 3 km of the crater, and pyroclastic flows within 2 km of the crater.

Following the latest eruption, which occurred at 3:31 a.m., rocks flew within around 1.1 km of the crater and the agency confirmed volcanic lighting caused by friction between ash particles. It asked locals to exercise caution around volcanic ash and small rocks mainly on the leeward side.

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