Surrounding areas of the Sakurajima volcano have been ordered to evacuate after black ash, smoke and rocks were seen spewing out the top.
The Japan Meteorological Agency updated the volcanic alert to Level 5, the highest warning possible with all residential areas to evacuate in the Kagoshima City after rocks were blown almost 2.5km away around 8:05pm local time yesterday.
About 51 to 120 people were ordered to leave from the Arimua and Furusato districts after authorities stated that there could be possible lava flow.
No injuries or damage have been reported but the Japanese government has said their number one priority is ensuring the safety of citizens in the region.
“We will put the people’s lives first and do our utmost to assess the situation and respond to any emergency,” said Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki to Japanese media.
Authorities say that they’re not expecting any major eruption but residents should be on alert.
WATCH: Japan’s Sakurajima volcano, located on the island of Kyushu, erupted on Sunday, prompting evacuations in the region. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a Level 5 alert, the highest level, calling for people to evacuate #Japan pic.twitter.com/oAzkhqnLEU
— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) July 24, 2022
Sakurajima is located in Japan’s south-west is the country’s third largest volcano and one of the most active with residents in the area well and truly up to date with emergency protocols.
“People in Kagoshima and in the surrounding area are very well versed in what to do in the event that Sakurajima gets a bit more violent,” Volcanologist Robin George Andrews told Al Jazeera.
“There are regular drills and regular evacuation protocols. Schools often go through what to do with their pupils when the volcano acts up. It’s one of the most monitored volcanoes in the country.”
According to Volcano Discovery, Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanos in the world with constant activity.
They state that moderate explosions and ash happen around every 4-24 hours and that the largest explosions recorded happened in 1471 and 1914.
Sakurajima used to be an island, but the 1914 explosion caused it to be connected to the Osumi Peninsula.
Over 10 billion tons of lava flowed down the volcano, but most residents managed to escape after several earthquakes in the days leading up to the explosion served as an important warning something major was going to happen.