Dozens of people have been ordered to evacuate the small southern Japanese island of Kuchinoerabu after a sudden volcanic eruption Friday morning. Mount Shindake erupted around 10 a.m. spewing black clouds of ash and rock into the sky.
Local Japanese officials said the eruption occurred without warning and nearly 100 people had to take shelter at an evacuation center.
The Japan Meteorological Agency advised the evacuations and issued a level five warning for the area, the highest level on their scale.
A Japanese Coast Guard ship and military helicopter were dispatched to the island for the evacuation assistance of the residents. There have been no reports of injuries or damage from Japanese officials at this time.Japan is one of the world’s most seismically active countries and there has been a major increase in volcanic activity in recent weeks.
The island of Kuchinoerabu is home to 137 residents and is approximately 50 miles southwest of the more densely populated island of Kyushu. Kuchinoerabu is an extremely mountainous and heavily forested island and serves mainly as a tourist and fishing destination.
Volcano erupts on Japanese island, evacuation ordered and flights diverted http://t.co/NsOaMjXxae
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) May 29, 2015