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Shaken & stirred: Japan’s ‘James Bond volcano’ spews massive cloud of smoke

 

Japan’s Shinmoedake volcano sent large plumes of smoke and ash thousands of feet into the air Tuesday. The volcano, featured in the 1967 James Bond movie, ‘You Only Live Twice,’ is expected to continue erupting for “some time.”

 

Shinmoedake is located on the island of Kyushu, 985 km (616 miles) from Tokyo, in a rural area, and no injuries have been reported, Japan Times said. Access to the peak has been restricted since March 1, when the volcano began experiencing smaller eruptions.

 

Japanese television footage showed molten lava inside the crater. NHK said the cloud of smoke and ash had risen up to 2,800 meters (9186 feet) before 8pm local time.

 

The Japan Meteorological Agency gave the volcano a level three eruption warning, indicating that the public should not approach the volcano but that there was no immediate need to evacuate as would be the case with a level five warning. “The mountain has been erupting for a while, but this is the strongest day yet,” an official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency said. “This will go on for a while.”

 

In nearby Kirishima, residents wore surgical masks and covered their mouths with towels. Some used umbrellas to protect themselves from the ash, AP reports. The eruption caused several flights to be cancelled. Japan is home to 110 active volcanoes, 47 of which are constantly monitored.

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