Japanese volcano erupts, spewing ash

A volcano has erupted on Japan's Jyshu island, sending smoke and ash billowing from Mt Shinmoe.
A volcano has erupted on Japan's Jyshu island, sending smoke and ash billowing from Mt Shinmoe.

A volcano on Japan's Kyushu island is erupting, sending a plume of ash more than 2km above the crater.

It was the first time in about seven years that such a powerful eruption was observed at Mount Shinmoe on the border between the prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki on the southern island, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency detected the latest eruption at the 1421-metre-high volcano about 2:30pm local time. No injuries were reported.

The agency, which already restricted access to the volcano, decided on Thursday to expand the area that is likely to be affected by eruptions to within 3km of the crater.

A series of explosive eruptions occurred at Mount Shinmoe between January and March 2011.

Australian Associated Press