National

Volcano erupts on Kuchinoerabu Island in Kagoshima Prefecture; no injuries reported

Kyodo

A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted Saturday, the Meteorological Agency said, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Rocks were thrown about 300 meters from the crater of Mount Shintake on Kuchinoerabu Island in Kagoshima Prefecture following the eruption around 3:05 p.m., the agency said, adding it had not confirmed any pyroclastic flow.

No evacuation order was issued. As of the end of last month, 100 people were registered as residents on the island, which is about 36 square kilometers (nearly 14 square miles) in size.

It was the first eruption on the island since Feb. 2 last year.

The agency maintained the alert level for the volcano at 3 on a scale of 5, which asks climbers to refrain from scaling the mountain. The alert level was raised from 2 in October following a major earthquake.

The agency warned of possible flying rocks and pyroclastic flows within about a 2-kilometer radius of the crater.

In May 2015, all residents of the island were evacuated to Yakushima Island, some 12 km to the east, after explosive eruptions.

Kuchinoerabu Island is located some 130 km south-southwest of the city of Kagoshima.

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