A volcano on a southwestern Japan island erupted early Monday, the weather agency said, warning of the potential for big rocks being hurled into the air within about a 2-kilometer radius of the crater.
The eruption occurred at the crater of Mt. Otake on Suwanose Island of Kagoshima Prefecture at 2:48 a.m., prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to raise the volcanic activity alert level by one notch to 3 on a scale of 5, meaning that people should not approach the crater. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Following the eruption, the Japanese government set up a liaison office at the prime minister's office to gather information.
According to the agency, large rocks were thrown to some 1.3 km from the crater of Mt. Otake and smoke reached about 200 meters above the mountain.
Prior to Monday eruption, the agency had warned that the volcano on the island was becoming active recently, with throwing large rocks to nearly 1 km from the crater over the weekend.
Suwanose Island, a volcanic island with small population, is located about 230 km south-southwest of Kagoshima.