Volcanic lightning at Shinmoedake, Japan
© Japan News-Yomiuri
Volcanic lightning at Shinmoedake is seen from Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Thursday morning in Japan.
An explosive eruption occurred early Thursday morning at Shinmoedake, a volcano in the Kirishima mountain range straddling Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, the Japan Meteorological Agency said the same day.

Volcanic smoke from the 1,421-meter Shinmoedake reached as high as 5,000 meters above the crater, the highest since a series of eruptions began on March 1. Minor pyroclastic flows poured in the direction of Takaharu, Miyazaki Prefecture, which is located southeast of the crater, some spreading about 800 meters from the crater.

This was the first time since March 25 that both an explosive eruption and pyroclastic flows were observed. The two prefectural governments said they had not received any reports of injuries or damage to buildings caused by the eruption. The agency said there is no need for immediate evacuation.

The Yomiuri Shimbun