Powerful Eruption Occurs at Mt. Shinmoe in Southwest Japan


(Xinhua) - Mount Shinmoe on the southwestern Japanese main island of Kyushu erupted violently on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

According to the JMA, the powerful eruption at Mt. Shinmoe, which straddles Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, occurred at around 2:30 p.m. local time (0530 GMT) Tuesday.

The 1,421-meter high volcano, located in the Kirishima mountain range, spewed plumes of smoke and volcanic ash around 2,100 meters into the air from its crater, the JMA said, amid the explosive eruption.

The eruption came less than a week after a smaller eruption was observed at Mt. Shinmoe.

The JMA said Tuesday it had observed volcanic tremors on the mountain since the beginning of the month and that large amplitude "low frequency earthquakes" had been frequently observed at the mountain since the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The weather agency said a plume had been rising from the east side of the crater since the beginning of the month but on Tuesday morning it observed a separate plume rising from the vicinity of the crater's west side.

Following Tuesday's powerful eruption, the JMA has maintained its warning at level 3 out of a maximum of 5 and is warning people to stay away from the mountain and be careful of flying volcanic rocks within a radius of 3 km from the volcano's crater.

The agency also warned about the possibility of pyroclastic flows within a similar distance from Mt. Shinmoe's crater, as well as falling ash and broken glass if there's a subsequent powerful explosion which causes an air shock.

There was a smaller eruption of Mt. Shinmoe on March 1 this year and the volcano previously erupted in January 2011 and October 2017 respectively, with the latter eruption seeing volcanic...

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