Japanese volcano erupts, spews smoke 2,000 metres in air (Lead)

February 2nd, 2009 - 12:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Feb 2 (DPA) Mount Asama, a volcano in northcentral Japan erupted early Monday, spewing smoke 2,000 metres above its crater and sending ash as far away as Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.The agency issued a warning of continued large ash deposits in the surrounding four-kilometre area. No casualties or severe damage were reported so far.

The volcano erupted at 1:51 a.m. early Monday, and volcanic smoke was detected until around 8 a.m..

A thin layer of ash fell on rooftops and car windows in Tokyo’s Tachikawa city, about 100 km southeast of Mount Asama.

The agency said volcanic activity had subsided and the frequency of the volcanic earthquakes had decreased.

The 2,568-metre Mount Asama, on the border between Gunma and Nagano prefectures, last erupted in August.

In southern Japan, several minor volcanic eruptions had also been detected since Sunday on Sakurajima island, south of Kagoshima prefecture, the Fukuoka District Meteorological Observatory said.

The observatory raised the alert level because it said it expected debris could reach surrounding areas within a two-kilometre radius of the 1,117-metre Sakurajima volcano and volcanic activity might increase.

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