Residents of the small Japanese island of Kuchinoerabu were forced to evacuate as Mount Shindake erupted on Friday morning. Plumes of black smoke miles high can be seen in the captivating footage captured and shown here.
So far, no casualties have been reported of the 140 island residents, though reports from local official Nobuaki Hayashi state that several persons are unaccounted for.
The Japan Meteorological Agency raised the alert to level five, the highest on its scale when they ordered the evacuation. They also noted that dense currents of rock fragments and hot gases from the volcano known as pyroclastic flows, had reached the north-west shore of the island.
The Maeda district, where the majority of Kuchinoerabu Island’s population resides has, however, not yet been affected by the lava flows.
Since the sudden eruption, prime minister Shinzo Abe had an emergency response team set up and dispatched — stating that instructions have been given to do “everything possible” to ensure the islanders’ safety.
This eruption follows on the heels of the equally unexpected eruption of Mount Otake in central Japan eight months ago, which killed 57 people.
[Image via Guardian]