Volcano erupts near Kagoshima, Japan

Police told NHK that they had not received any reports of damage. The Japan Meteorological Service (JMA) raised the alert level for Sakurajima from 3 to 5, the highest category. This means that people who live near the volcano must take evacuation into account. Anyone staying in the danger zone is advised to leave. According to NHK, 51 people have committed so far.

Kagoshima, which has a population of about 600,000, is not currently in danger. The technical service at the Satsuma-Sendai Nuclear Power Plant, about 50 kilometers northwest of the crater, said it found no irregularities. The JMA expected rain for Monday, but not in amounts that would justify fears of landslides around the volcano.

Sakurajima is one of the most active stratovolcanoes (conical volcanoes formed of lava) in the world. Over a hundred years ago, a major volcanic eruption provided the volcanic island in Kagoshima Bay with a natural connection to Osumi Prefecture.

One observer reported that the volcanic rock fell within a 1.5 mile radius.

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Denton Watson

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