BREAKING NEWS – A sudden volcano eruption on the small southern Japanese island of Kuchinoerabu-jima has forced authorities to raise the alert to the highest level and advise evacuation of the immediate area. Although there were no reports of injuries or damage, the authorities are considering evacuation of some 150 residents of the small island, NHK national television reports.

Mount Shindake suddenly erupted about 10:00am local time, sending a large plume of black smoke into the sky. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a level five warning for the area, the highest on its scale, advising evacuations.The remote island is located fairly far away from any heavily populated urban areas and is located about 160km to the south of the Sendai nuclear plant, on Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu. FULL REPORT