Mount Aso, an active volcano located in the Japanese island of Kyushu, suddenly erupted on Monday, Sept.14, blasting black and white smoke 2,000 meters (more than 6,500 feet) in the sky.
Officials from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said that the eruption of the 1,592-meter (5,222-foot) mountain fired steam and pieces of volcanic debris into the air, though it remains uncertain whether it had also released any volcanic flow.
The abrupt explosion of volcano also caused local authorities to issue an alert level for the surrounding area and ban people from approaching within two kilometers (one and a half miles) of Mount Aso's mouth.
There are no residential areas within the immediate danger zone established by authorities and there were no reported cases of injuries to people or damages to property.
NHK, Japan's national television network, reported that police officials safely evacuated people who were a ropeway station on Mount Aso during the eruption. They also started moving visitors to the tourist spot to lower areas for their safety and checking whether any hikers were still within the danger area.
The large of volume of ash from Mount Aso's eruption has resulted in some scheduled flights to the nearby Kumamoto city to be diverted.
Researcher Yasuaki Sudo of the Aso Volcano Museum told local reporters that the recent explosion of the mountain could occur a few times. He said that it is very important for people to stay out of the Mount Aso's danger zone.
The entire Japanese archipelago is located atop an area in the Pacific Ocean called the Ring of Fire. This section of the ocean is known for its seemingly continuous series of volcanic belts and arcs, plate movements and oceanic trenches. The country itself also has over 100 volcanoes.
Prior to the recent explosion, Mount Aso already had a few minor eruptions in August and in 2014, which temporarily disrupted the local tourism.
Last summer, local authorities closed off a section of well-known hot springs around 80 kilometers (49 miles) from the capital Tokyo because of the possible explosion of Mount Hakone, which is located in the southeast of Mount Fuji.