A volcano on Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, erupted Wednesday, with a local weather observatory warning those within a 2-kilometer radius against pyroclastic flows and falling rocks.

The eruption at the Showa crater, the first since April 2018, was observed at 10:52 a.m., with plumes rising to 1,000 meters noted at 11:10 a.m., according to the Kagoshima Meteorological Office.

Photo taken on Feb. 8, 2023, from an unmanned fixed-point camera in Tarumizu, Kagoshima Prefecture, shows an eruption on Sakurajima volcano in the southwestern Japan prefecture. It was the first explosive eruption since April 2018 at the volcano's Showa crater. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The meteorological office said it had detected a slight swelling of the mountain from around Jan. 14. Whether the movement is connected to the eruption is unknown, although the likelihood of a larger explosion increases when the swelling suddenly subsides.

The Showa crater is located on the east side of Minamidake and was especially active between 2006 and 2018.

Sakurajima is connected to the Osumi Peninsula of Kyushu, a main island in southwestern Japan.

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