Japan volcano featured in James Bond movie erupts, ejecting smoke and rocks

PHOTO: Reuters

TOKYO - A Japanese volcano that figured in a 1960s James Bond movie erupted explosively on Friday (June 22) for the first time since April, sending smoke thousands of metres into the air, less than a week after a strong earthquake shook the country's west.

Shinmoedake, in a mainly rural area about 985 km from Tokyo on the southernmost main island of Kyushu, had quietened down since the earlier eruption, although admission to the 1,421-metre-high peak remained restricted.

Television images showed smoke and ash billowing into the air above the peak, which featured in the 1967 spy film You Only Live Twice.

TBS television said rock was thrown as far as 1,100m from the mountain.

Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 constantly.

When 63 people were killed in the volcanic eruption of Mount Ontake in September 2014, it was the country's worst such toll for nearly 90 years.

In January, a member of Japan's military was struck and killed when rocks from a volcanic eruption rained down on skiers at a central mountain resort.

On Monday, an earthquake of 6.1 magnitude struck Osaka, Japan's second largest city, killing five, including a nine-year-old schoolgirl, and injuring hundreds.

The Singapore embassy in Japan, in its Overseas Mission News Alert on Friday (June 22), reported about the volcanic activities in Japan.

There have been several volcanic eruptions since January 2018, with the latest eruption occurring on June 22 at Mount Shinmoedake in Kagoshima/Miyazaki (Kyushu).

Other eruptions include Mount Ioyama at Miyazaki/Kagoshima, Sakurajima in Kagoshima, and Mount Kusatsu-shirane at Gunma/Nagano.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has since issued volcanic warnings in the Chubu (Level 2: Do not approach the crater) and Kyushu (Level 3: Do not approach the volcano) regions.

JMA's website at http://www.jma.go.jp/en/volcano/ issues the latest updates of volcanic activities.

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