Mount Aso erupted in Kumamoto Prefecture, in southwestern Japan, on Wednesday morning.
Plumes of smoke and dust rose 3.5 kilometers, and stones were scattered in a kilometer radius.
In addition, local officials told Japanese media that authorities were checking whether joggers were trapped, while footage showed dozens of vehicles and tour buses parked in the parking garage of a nearby museum overlooking the volcano.
Torrents of ash flowed from Mount Aso toward the museum, but did not reach the site.
For his part, Tomoaki Ozaki, an official with the Japan Meteorological Agency, warned in a televised press conference, “of large rocks and lava flows.”
He also added, “Caution is required, even in remote areas, because the wind does not carry ash only, but also stones,” and warned of the possibility of the presence of toxic gases.
It is noteworthy that the last time the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a warning of this level of the eruption of Mount Aso – 3 on a scale of 5, dates back to 2016.
Japan has several active volcanoes located in a vast area known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, where most of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.
Mount Aso is located on the island of Kyushu, and is one of hundreds of closely monitored active volcanoes in Japan, including Mount Fuji, which is about 100 kilometers from Tokyo.
The Japan Meteorological Agency had warned in recent days of an increase in volcanic activity in the Mount Aso region.
It is noteworthy that in September 2014, the eruption of Mount Ontake (3,067 meters above sea level) in central Japan killed 63 people, the largest disaster of its kind in the country in ninety years