January 17, 2019 / 1:29 AM / 7 months ago

Volcano erupts in southern Japan, no evacuation warning

A video grab from the Japan Meteorological Agency's live camera image shows an eruption of Kuchinoerabu Island in Yakushima town, Kagoshima prefecture, southwestern Japan, January 17, 2019. Japan Meteorological Agency/Handout via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - A volcano erupted on a remote island in southern Japan on Thursday, the meteorological agency said, but the warning level was kept below the scale requiring evacuation.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the volcano on Kuchinoerabujima island, roughly 1,000 km (620 miles) southwest of Tokyo, erupted at 9:20 a.m. (0020 GMT). Live images showed thick black smoke billowing out of the mountain.

The eruption had released pyroclastic flows, or flows of super-heated ash and gas, Kyodo News said, but the flows had not reached residential areas.

The same peak erupted explosively in 2015, sending ash and smoke thousands of meters into the sky and releasing potentially deadly pyroclastic flows that reached the sea. The island’s entire population was evacuated at the time but eventually returned. Some 100 people now live there.

Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 constantly.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Paul Tait

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