Japan’s Sakurajima volcano erupts, prompting highest alert

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the volcano erupted around 8:05 p.m. local time (7:05 a.m. ET). Footage from the agency‘s surveillance camera showed a cloud of smoke or ash rising from the volcano.

JMA announced a Level 5 alert — the highest level — calling for people to evacuate. JMA advised caution to residents in Kagoshima Prefecture and Kagoshima City.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Japan’s nuclear regulators said that no irregularities had been detected at the nearby Sendai nuclear power plant, Reuters reported.

According to NASA, Sakurajima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, having erupted on several occasions in recent decades.

It previously erupted in January, spewing a cloud of ash kilometers into the air.

The volcano is located in the Kagoshima Prefecture on the southern tip of Japan.

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