Volcano erupts on southwestern Japan island, alert level raised
Written by tokyoclub on June 23, 2021
A volcano on a southwestern Japan island erupted early Wednesday, sending large rocks as far as 1 kilometer from the crater, prompting the weather agency to raise its alert level.
The eruption occurred at the crater of Mt. Otake on Suwanose Island of Kagoshima Prefecture at around 12:04 a.m. There were no immediate reports of injuries, according to local authorities.
Supplied photo taken by a Japan Meteorological Agency camera shows an eruption at the crater of Mt. Otake on Suwanose Island of Kagoshima Prefecture on Dec. 28, 2020. (Kyodo)
Following the eruption, the Japan Meteorological Agency said it had raised the volcanic activity alert level by one notch to 3 on a scale of 5, meaning that people should not approach the crater.
The agency warned of the potential for big rocks to be hurled into the air within about a 2-km radius of the crater. The government set up a liaison office at the prime minister’s office to collect information.
Suwanose, a volcanic island with a small population, is located about 230 km south-southwest of Kagoshima. The 799-meter volcano has been active, with the alert level raised temporarily due to other eruptions in the past year.
In 1813, a major eruption destroyed nearly all the local houses and forced all residents to evacuate the island for some 70 years, according to the official website of Tshima village, which administers the area.