Small Japanese Island Evacuated as “Explosive” Volcano Erupts

Japanese authorities ordered all of the estimated 137 people on a small island to evacuate after a volcano erupted Friday morning in a towering plume of thick, black smoke almost six miles high and a shower of fiercely hot rock and toxic gases, NBC News reported. Sadayuki Kitagawa, director of the Meteorological Agency's volcanology division, characterized the eruption as one of "explosive power," with a smoke plume rising almost 30,000 feet from the crater and reported a fluidized mixture of blazing rock fragments and toxic gases flowing from the volcano had reached the island's northwest coast. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, told reporters that all 137 people believed to be on the southern island of Kuchinoerabu were confirmed safe.

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