Japan’s Sakurajima volcano erupts triggering evacuation

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Japan’s Sakurajima volcano erupts triggering evacuation

A volcano on Japan’s western major island of Kyushu has erupted with the alert level raised to 5 – the highest.

Sakurajima erupted at around 8.05pm local time (12.05pm BST) on Sunday, the Japanese Meteorological Agency said.

No damage has been reported but volcanic stones could be seen raining down up to 1.5 miles away from the site, according to public television channel NHK.

There were no signs of irregularity at the nearby Sendai Nuclear Power plant, the Japanese nuclear regulator added.

Although meteorological officials warned of heavy rainfall in the area, they said it was unlikely to cause mudslides around the volcano.

Video footage from the scene shows red lava flowing down one side of the summit, with more shooting out from the top.

The nearest residential area – the city of Kagoshima – is across the bay from the volcano and around two miles away – but people may still be ordered to evacuate there.

Sakurajima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and eruptions of varying levels are frequent. In 2019 it spewed ash 3.4 miles (5.5 km) high.