South Japan volcano erupts

  • 05/02/2016
(NHK News Agency)
(NHK News Agency)

A volcano located in southern Japan has erupted explosively, Japan's Meteorological Agency (JMA) says, sending fountains of lava into the night sky.

The Sakurajima volcano, on the southernmost main island of Kyushu, erupts frequently.

There have been no reports of damage or injury.

The JMA issued a level 3 orange alert after the eruption at around 7:15pm (local time), warning people to stay away from the volcano.

"It appears that stones have been thrown about 2km from the crater, but this area is quite far from any communities," Kazuhiro Ishihara, an emeritus professor at Kyoto University, told NHK national television.

Television footage showed red streams of lava bursting from the side of the mountain, but Ishihara said he thought the impact of the eruption would not be that serious.

Ash plumes rose to 22,000m into the sky, NHK reports.

The Japanese volcano is located around 50km from the Sendai nuclear plant, run by Kyushu Electric Power.

It was shut down, along with all of Japan's nuclear plants, after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at a nuclear plant north of Tokyo, but resumed operations last year.

A spokeswoman for Kyushu Electric said there was no impact from the eruption on the plant and its operations, and it was not taking any special precautions.

Japan lies on the "Ring of Fire" -- a seismically active horse shoe-shaped band of fault lines and volcanoes around the edges of the Pacific Ocean -- and has more than 100 active volcanoes.

Newshub. / Reuters / AAP