News Alarm as Sakurajima volcano erupts on Japanese island of Kyushu

Alarm as Sakurajima volcano erupts on Japanese island of Kyushu

Sakurajima, on the island of Kyushu, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. Photo: AP
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A volcano on Japan’s island of Kyushu called Sakurajima has erupted.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the volcano erupted at 8.05pm local time on Sunday.

There were no immediate reports of damage, but there were reports of volcanic stones raining down at a distance of 2.5 kilometres from the volcano, NHK public television said.

Video footage from Sunday’s eruption showed what appeared to be a red mass flowing down one side of the volcano, with red projectiles shooting out while smoke, hard to see in the darkness, billowed.

Most of the city of Kagoshima is across the bay from the volcano but several residential areas within about 3 kilometres of the crater may be ordered to evacuate, NHK said.

Officials at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office were gathering information about the situation, it added.

The eruption alert level has been raised to 5, the highest, with residents in some areas, including Kagoshima Prefecture and Kagoshima City, advised to evacuate, NHK reported.

Sakurajima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and eruptions of varying levels are frequent.

In 2019 it spewed ash 5.5 kilometres high.