Volcanic Eruption Prompts Level-5 Evacuation Alert In Japan

[Twitter/ Screenshot/ NHK News]

Taylor Loud Contributor
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Residents of a pair of two towns on the Japanese island of Kyushu were forced to evacuate after the Sakurajima volcano erupted Sunday night.

The volcano was seen spewing large rocks and dark ash into the sky after erupting at roughly 8 p.m. local time, CNN reported. Some rocks fell as far away from the volcano as 1.5 miles, The Associated Press reported.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) promptly issued the highest-level alert, Level 5, which advised the evacuation of 51 residents from the Kagoshima Prefecture and Kagoshima City, according to The AP.

At least 30 of the 51 residents were evacuated by Monday morning, relocating a safer part of the island, the Japan Times reported. (RELATED: Mysterious Pink Sky Confuses Residents In Australian Town)

“We will put the people’s lives first and do our utmost to assess the situation and respond to any emergency,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said to reporters, according to the AP.

Minor movements in the Earth’s crust, which may signal the expansion of the volcano, have been observed by JMA, the Japan Times reported.

Sakurajima remains one of the most active volcanoes on the Kyushu island. This is the first time the volcano has prompted a Level 5 alert, according to the outlet.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.