Following increased seismic activity detected since September 23, 2017, Shinmoedake volcano (Kirishimayama) in Kyushu, Japan started erupting at 20:34 UTC on October 10, 2017, coating nearby cities and towns in a thin layer of ash. The last eruption of this volcano occurred on September 7, 2011. Increase in the number of volcanic earthquakes under the volcano was first detected on September 23, 2017. It further increased on October 4, prompting JMA to conduct a field survey on October 5 when

they observed fumarolic activity and weak thermal anomalies. At 23:55 JST that day, JMA raised the alert level from 1 to 2, restricting entry to areas near the crater. Shinmoedake started erupting for the first time in six years at 20:34 UTC on October 10 (05:34 JST, October 11), prompting JMA to raise the volcanic alert level to 3. This is the first time this volcano is on Alert Level 3 since October 2013. Alert Level 3 means residents and tourists are not allowed to approach the mountain within 2 km (1.2 miles) due to the possibility of flying rocks and pyroclastic flows.  READ MORE