Mt. Aso
© Japan Meteorological Agency
Mt. Aso
A small eruption was observed Friday on Mt. Aso in southwestern Japan, spewing smoke as high as 1,600 meters, the weather agency said. The eruption occurred at 7:57 a.m. at the No. 1 crater of Mt. Aso's Nakadake, which is 1,506 meters above sea level, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. It was the latest in a series of small-scale eruptions at the volcano in Kumamoto Prefecture since April. No volcanic cinders were detected but the agency warned of volcanic gas.

The agency raised Mt. Aso's volcanic alert level to 2 on a scale of 1 to 5 in April, urging people not to approach the crater. Local municipalities have restricted entry to areas within 1 kilometer of the crater.