Volcano in southern Japan erupts; no injuries or damage

January 16, 2019 - 8:09 pm

TOKYO (AP) — A small island volcano in southern Japan has erupted, blasting rocks and ashes into the air but causing no damage or injuries.

Japan Meteorological Agency says Thursday's eruption of the Shindake volcano on Kuchinoerabu island sent rocks flying and hot gas and debris pouring down the crater. It has not reached the residential area 2 kilometers (1.2 mile) away.

Officials say no damage or injuries have been reported. About 80 residents initially took refuge at a shelter on the island but have since started to return home after an evacuation advisory was lifted.

Shindake's last major eruption in May 2015 had temporarily displaced the island's entire population of about 150.

Kuchinoerabu is south of Japan's main southern island of Kyushu.