One of Japan’s most active volcanos erupted spectacularly Friday evening with a fiery blast that sent lava rolling down its slope. Japan’s Meteorological Agency said Sakurajima on the southern island of Kyushu erupted at around 7 p.m. (1000 GMT). Japanese television showed an orange burst out of the side of the volcano, near the summit, accompanied by lightning-like flashes. Dark gray smoke billowed into the sky.
The Meteorological Agency banned entry to the area, expanding an existing no-go zone around the crater to a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) radius, according to public broadcaster NHK. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Friday’s eruption, while dramatic, was average compared to Sakurajima’s past eruptions, Kyoto University volcanologist Kazuhiro Ishihara told NHK. The mountain’s last major eruption was in September. FULL REPORT