31 Jan 2011

Evacuations after Japanese volcano erupts

7:54 pm on 31 January 2011

More than 1000 people in southern Japan have been urged to evacuate their homes near a volcano that has been spewing ash and rocks into the air.

Mt Shinmoedake on the southern island of Kyushu began erupting last Wednesday and it has been 300 years since the volcano has been this active, Reuters reports.

About 600 residents of Takaharu, located at the foot of the 1421-metre mountain, took shelter at gymnasiums and community centres following warnings to evacuate on Sunday.

The volcanic activity has disrupted flights and blanketed local vegetable farms in ash.

All Nippon Airways Co Ltd said normal operations to the area resumed on Sunday after cancellations on Friday and Saturday.