A volcano has erupted on a remote island in southern Japan, spewing ash and smoke into the air over the sparsely-populated area, but the warning level has been kept below the scale requiring evacuation.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the volcano on Kuchinoerabu island, some 1,000km southwest of the capital, Tokyo, erupted at around 9:20am (00:20 GMT).
Live images showed thick black smoke billowing out of the mountain.
The eruption had released pyroclastic flows, or flows of super-heated ash and gas, Kyodo News said, but the flows had not reached residential areas.
Public broadcaster NHK said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the eruption. It added that eruptions have taken place intermittently on the island since October last year.
The same peak erupted explosively in 2015, sending ash and smoke thousands of metres into the sky and releasing potentially deadly pyroclastic flows that reached the sea.
The island’s entire population was evacuated at the time but eventually returned. Some 100 people now live there.
Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 constantly.
Al Jazeera and news agencies