Evacuation of populated areas closest to Japan’s Sakurajima volcano ordered

Japanese authorities have ordered the evacuation of populated areas within three kilometers of the Sakurajima volcano on the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan, including parts of the city of Kagoshima.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has raised to level 5, the maximum, the alert for the eruption of the volcano, which is throwing rocks up to 2.5 kilometers away from the two craters, named Minamidake and Showa.

Ash and volcanic rocks could reach populated areas due to winds and vibrations caused by the eruption could cause window panes to break.

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The government has set up a commission under the office of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and has summoned senior officials from various ministries and public agencies to react to the emergency.

The volcano, one of the most active in Japan, is located in Kagoshima prefecture, in the southwest of the country, and so far no injuries have been reported during the eruption, according to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

The eruption was recorded at 20.05 local time (13.05 in mainland Spain), with the expulsion of a column of ash and smoke that rose to a height of 2.5 kilometers.

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The alert affects especially the city closest to the volcano, Kagoshima, where almost 600,000 people live. In this regard, the authorities have warned that the rocks ejected by the volcano could reach local areas such as Arimura and Furusato.

This is the second time that the maximum alert level has been activated for the eruption of a volcano after the 2015 eruption of the Kuchinoerabu island-volcano

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