Tokyo: Japan’s Mount Aso volcano recorded its first eruption in 36 years on Saturday but reportedly caused no serious damage, said the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA).
The 1,562-meter volcano on Japan’s main southern island of Kyushu began to rumble early Saturday spewing ash as high as 11,000 meters into the air, Efe news reported.
While no reports of serious damage or injuries in the surrounding areas have come so far, some streets in adjoining areas were covered in a fine layer of ash.
The JMA has raised the alert level from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 5). It has also warned residents of adjoining areas to stay alert to the possibility of a fresh eruption that could spray ash and volcanic gases.
In April this year, the Kumamoto and Oita prefectures were witness to the country’s worst earthquakes since March 2011. However, experts have yet to determine if these temblors, which left 49 dead and thousands homeless, may have had an impact on Mt. Aso, located close to the epicentre of the April quakes.
The last time the volcano registered a violent eruption was in January 1980, shortly before which – in September 1979 – another eruption had killed three hikers in the area. Japan is located within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire and has some 110 active volcanoes.