Tokyo (AFP) March 13, 2011
A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted Sunday after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and rocks up to four kilometres (two and a half miles) into the air, a local official said.
It was not immediately clear if the eruption was a direct result of the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked northern areas Friday, unleashing a fierce tsunami and sparking fears that more than 10,000 may have been killed.
The 1,421-metre (4,689-feet) Shinmoedake volcano in the Kirishima range saw its first major eruption for 52 years in January. There had not been any major activity at the site since March 1.
Authorities have maintained a volcano warning at a level of three out of five, restricting access to the entire mountain.
In April last year, the eruption of the Eyjafjoell volcano in Iceland dispersed a vast cloud of ash, triggering a huge shutdown of airspace that affected more than 100,000 flights and eight million passengers.
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A mud volcano that has displaced more than 13,000 Indonesian families will erupt for at least a quarter of century, emitting belches of flammable gas through a deepening lake of sludge, scientists reported on Thursday. Underground pressure means the volcano "Lusi," in Sidoarjo, East Java, is likely to gush grey mud until 2037, when volumes will become negligible, according to their computer ... read more
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