Japan raises alert level after volcano erupts


Tokyo | AFP

A volcano in southwestern Japan has erupted, flinging large rocks hundreds of metres from the crater and prompting the meteorological agency to raise its alert level, Kyodo news agency reported early Wednesday.

There were no immediate reports of injuries after the eruption of Mount Otake in Kagoshima prefecture, according to Kyodo.

The report said the Japan Meteorological Agency had raised its alert level to a three on a scale of five, meaning that people should not approach the crater. 

A first eruption reportedly took place just after 10:00 pm Tuesday, with a second near 3:00 am on Wednesday. 

Kyodo said large rocks were projected “nearly one km” (more than half a mile) from the crater, and warned that they could potentially reach a two-kilometre radius.

Japan, with scores of active volcanoes, sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where a large proportion of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.