Volcanic Alert Raised for Southwestern Japan Island
Tokyo, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Meteorological Agency upgraded on Wednesday its volcanic alert for the island of Kuchinoerabu in the town of Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, calling on local residents to prepare for evacuation.
In a volcanic warning issued at 10:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. GMT), the agency raised the alert from Level 2 to Level 4, the second highest on the Japanese alert scale of 5, citing increasing volcanic activities at Mount Shindake on the island. Level 2 urges people not to approach the crater, while Level 4 advises them to make evacuation preparations.
The agency called for strong caution over large ash deposits and pyroclastic flows within 3 kilometers of the crater.
According to the Yakushima town government, 105 people lived on the island as of Aug. 1.
Some elderly residents aged 65 or older have started evacuating to the town hall, while other islanders have started preparations for evacuation, officials said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]