In Japan, Tokyo’s infamous Mount Aso volcano has erupted off the southern island of Kyushu in the early hours of September 14, prompting local authorities to raise the alert level for the areas as well as restrict people from approaching within 2 kilometres of the volcano’s mouth.
Fortunately, there are no residential areas within the blast radius and authorities have reported no immediate injuries or damage to property.
Despite this, the eruption sent huge bursts of black and white smoke nearly 2,000 meters into the air prompting police to evacuate people from a ropeway station located on the mountaintop as well as move other visitors on the volcano to lower elevations to avoid harm.
According to the NHK, a local Japanese news channel, police are still searching the area to see if any hikers were stuck or injured in the restricted zone.
As well as raising the alert level, several flights to the nearby city of Kumanoto were diverted to other airports as ash was still present in the air long after Aso’s eruption.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency stated following the eruption that small bits of volcanic rock were also ejected into the air.
Meteorologists are still unclear if there was any actually volcanic flow down the mountain prompting authorities to wonder if this is merely the beginning of a series of volcanic outbursts.
“This could happen a few times,” said Yasuaki Sudo, a researcher who works at the Aso Volcano Museum. “The most important thing is to stay out of the danger zone.”
Japans archipelago sits within the Pacific oceans “ring of fire “and has upwards of 100 volcanos located within its area, prompting local authorities to always monitor the area with a growing uncertainty.
Last September, a small eruption disrupted the area causing various hits to the local tourist market.
Even during this past summer, authorities closed off a series of popular hot springs about 80 kilometres from Tokyo due to fear of eruption from Mount Hakone, located southeast of the infamous Mount Fuji.
The eruption of volcanos has become a major issue for Japan in recent years as 57 people were killed when Mount Ontake erupted in central Japan.