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Volcano Erupts On Japanese Island, Prompting Evacuations

Evacuations were ordered on Kuchinoerabu Island in southern Japan after a volcano erupted, sending a massive plume of smoke and ash into the air.

Last updated on May 29, 2015, at 12:34 a.m. ET

Posted on May 28, 2015, at 10:02 p.m. ET

In southern Japan, a volcano erupted Friday local time, prompting officials to order residents to evacuate.

口永良部島で大規模な噴火が始まりました。 #volcano #火山 #JAPAN

The Japan Meterological Agency made the volcano alert level five, which is the highest on its scale.

First level 5 #volcano warning I've seen JMA issue #Kuchinoerabu #Japan

The eruption happened in the remote Kuchinoerabu island at 10 a.m. Officials ordered residents of the island to evacuate.

The island has a population of less than 200 people, according to a tourism website.

It can be reached only by a ferry that travels once a day from Yakushima island, which is about 7 miles to the east, and has an airport and a population of more than 13,000 people, the Associated Press reported.!4m2!3m1!1s0x353d43b5a603101d:0x8d981eb058149578

The volcanic eruption sent out a giant plume into the sky.

NHK photo of Kuchinoerabu-jima volcano eruption in southern Japan

The volcano's last major eruption was in August 2014, ending a silent streak dating back to September 1980, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

#Kuchinoerabu-jima at 958AM and 2 Minutes later at 1000AM.

Volcanic ash clouds now to 37,000 feet. These are SIGMETs--for airplanes to avoid by any means.


The eruption seen from a satelite: