Mount Aso, Japan’s Most Active Volcano, Erupts


Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan, erupted on Monday, forcing the evacuation of 30 people and changes to flight schedules, but no injuries have been reported, officials said.

The volcano began emitting smoke and ashes at 9:43 a.m., the Japan Meteorological Agency, or JMA, said, adding that a warning had been issued and urging people not to enter within a radius of two kilometers (1.2 miles).

About 30 people, including hikers, restaurant and transportation workers around Mount Aso, located in a remote area in southwestern Japan, have been evacuated by authorities, state news agency NHK reported.

The JMA warned of the danger of falling rocks and the emission of toxic gases due to the volcanic eruption, although no significant damage has been reported, NHK said.

Mount Aso, located in Kumamoto Prefecture on Kyushu Island, about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) southwest of Tokyo, has five peaks, a maximum height of 1,592 meters (5,223 feet) and a crater around 120 kilometers (75 miles) in circumference, making it one of the largest volcanoes in the world and the most active in Japan.

In January 2014, Aso erupted for the first time in three years, an eruption far more intense than Monday’s and causing a series of temblors that continue even today.

The eruption sent a two-kilometer (1.2-mile) plume of smoke into the sky, affecting visibility and causing the diversion of around six domestic flights heading for Kumamoto airport, NHK reported.

In 1979, another eruption killed three people and injured a dozen others.

Japan is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire and has 110 active volcanoes.


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