TOKYO (XINHUA) – A volcano on an island in the southern Japanese prefecture of Kagoshima erupted early on Monday (Feb 3), the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said, with no reports of injuries so far.

According to the JMA, Mount Shindake, on the south-western Kuchinoerabu Island, erupted at around 5.30am local time, sending a pyroclastic flow down its slope reaching as far as 900m south-west from its crater.

The eruption caused ash and smoke to rise to an altitude of around 7,000m, and large rocks were launched as far as 600m from the crater, the agency said, adding that residential areas were not in danger.

It maintained its alert level for the volcano at three on its scale which peaks at five, warning climbers to avoid the mountain.

The level was raised from two in October in the wake of a powerful earthquake.

Although the alert level remains the same, the agency warned people in the vicinity to look out for flying rocks and further potential pyroclastic flows within 2km from the crater.

The agency also said winds could cause volcanic ash and small rocks to travel farther in the case of a subsequent eruption.

Following a major eruption in May 2015, all residents were forced to temporarily evacuate the island.

There have, more recently, been intermittent eruptions observed at the volcano since January, the JMA said.

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