A large volcanic eruption on the Japanese island of Kyushu has sparked evacuation orders, with the country on high alert.
A volcano in Japan has erupted just 30 miles from a nuclear power plant sending ash spewing into the sky as evacuations are ordered.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has ordered an evacuation of the surrounding Sakurajima area, where the eruption is taking place, The Sun reports.
Some 51 people from 33 households in Kagoshima City have been told to evacuate after the eruption was given a level 5 alert - the country’s highest.
Five people have already been evacuated to the Elderly Welfare Center in Sakurajima.
Officials have also ordered the clearing of the towns of Arimura and Furusato, according to Asahi news outlet.
Local Mayor Takao Shimozuru has urged people to make their way to evacuation shelters outside the city.
He said: “We have also opened an evacuation centre and are calling for disaster prevention radio and fire brigade. Please evacuate.”
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK shared reports of stones being spewed out of Sakurajima volcano and coming down to earth 1.5 miles away.
In 2019, it spewed ash 3.4 miles into the sky. Video footage of the latest eruption shows what appears to be lava flowing down one side of the volcano and into the air.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the volcano began exploding at 8.05pm local time on Sunday.
It said falling volcanic rock and searing gas and lava has been reported within 2 miles of the crater.
Japan’s nuclear regulators said on Sunday it had not noted any irregularities at the Sendar plant, which is 31 miles northwest of the crater.
Meteorological officials warned that heavy rains in the area would lead to mudslides near the volcano.
Meanwhile, two of Japan’s national highways - No. 224 and No. 220 - have been shut blocking traffic from the south of the island, according to Kagoshima Ichiho - a disaster prevention centre based in Kagoshima.