Shinmoedake Eruptions Continue

Shinmoedake eruptions continue

Volcanic eruptions continue at Shinmoedake in southwestern Japan, sending plumes of smoke high into the sky.

The mountain in Kyushu straddles Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures.

The Meteorological Agency is keeping its alert level at 3 on a scale of 1 to 5, restricting approaches to the volcano.

It also says larger eruptions are possible and is advising people to be careful of falling cinder and pyroclastic flows within about 2 kilometers of the crater.

The volcano started to erupt on Wednesday for the first time since 2011.
On Thursday, a column of smoke from the volcano's mouth rose some 2,000 meters at one point in the morning, but later subsided to about 400 meters.

A local gas station was crowded with drivers who wanted to wash ash off their cars.

Children wore helmets and masks on their way to a school about 10 kilometers from the volcano.

The agency forecast that ash would fall in the region on Thursday.

This prompted 4 local elementary schools to ask students to put on protective gear before going outside.

Agency officials expect large amounts of ash to fall in parts of Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. They're calling on residents to stay indoors.