Alert Level Raised for Mount Zaō, Warning of Small Eruption
Tokyo, Jan. 30 (Jiji Press)—The Japan Meteorological Agency raised its volcanic alert for Mount Zaō on Tuesday as it detected signs of a possible small-scale eruption of the 1,841-meter mountain.
In a volcanic warning issued at 2:38 p.m., the agency raised the alert to level 2, on a scale of 1 to 5, urging people not to approach the crater, from level 1, which calls attention to the potential for increased volcanic activity.
On the mountain, which straddles the northeastern Japan prefectures of Miyagi and Yamagata, ash deposits may hit areas within some 1.2 kilometers of the Okama crater lake's vicinity, where an eruption may occur.
The Miyagi towns of Zaō, Shichikashuku, and Kawasaki and the cities of Yamagata and Kaminoyama in Yamagata put up notices at the starting points of mountain trails and at ski resorts, warning people to keep away from the crater area.
A similar warning was also issued to people in areas near the crater via email.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]