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Japanese Volcano Erupts Ash, Rock

By Story by Jim Andrews, AccuWeather.com Senior Forecaster
January 31, 2011, 2:19:47 AM EST

A blast from a southern Japanese volcano spewed rock and clouds of ash Thursday.

The Kirishima Volcano began erupting on Wednesday, then the eruption ramped up further on Thursday.


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Kirishima Volcano (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History).


A small blast apparently took place on January 19, according to reports.

The eruption led authorities to evacuate a 2-kilometer radius of the volcano's Shinmoedake vent.

The Meteorological Agency said that rock blasted out of Shinmoedake landed as far as 8 kilometers from the crater. The agency boosted the eruption scale to "medium" as the blast cloud rose higher on Thursday.

Ashfall from the eruption landed in a swath of Miyazaki Prefecture, including Miyazaki and Nichinan cities. Partial closures of area expressways were reported on Thursday.

Also reported was the voluntary evacuation of 14 area residents.


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Kirishima Volcano, site of the currently active Shinmoedake crater, straddles the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures in southern Kyushu, Japan. Kyushu is the most southerly main island of Japan.

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