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Authorities ask households around erupting volcano to evacuate in southwestern Japan

01-31-2011 10:03 BJT

TOKYO, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- About 500 households in a southwestern Japanese town had been asked to evacuate by local officials who feared avalanches of earth and rocks could occur around the erupting Mt. Shinmoe volcano.

The town of Takaharu in Miyazaki Prefecture issued the recommendation for about 1,100 residents at around midnight Sunday after the Miyazaki Local Meteorological Observatory said the lava dome on the 1,421-meter volcano in the Kirishima mountain range has been rising lately, Kyodo News reported on Monday.

Some 610 people had been evacuated to four shelters as of Monday morning, local authorities said.

But the local meteorological observatory in the neighboring Kagoshima Prefecture said the degree of risk is not high enough for such a recommendation.

At Mt. Shinmoe, eruptive activities have continued since ash and rocks were spewed in the first major volcanic eruption in 189 years last week, affecting traffic and households.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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