KUMAMOTO, Japan, Oct. 8 (UPI) — Japan’s largest active volcano, Mount Aso, erupted early Saturday morning, sending ash and smoke more than 11,000 meters — almost seven miles — into the air, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Mount Aso, located in Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in southwest Japan, coated the nearby towns in layers of volcanic ash, though no injuries have been reported.
The agency raised Mount Aso to Level 3 alert, on a scale of 5, and warned people to not approach the volcano, which also erupted earlier this year.
“It is extremely rare for an eruption column to exceed 10,000 meters,” Makoto Saito, director of the agency’s volcanology division, told CNN affiliate TV Asahi.
Saito also warned that another eruption is possible.
The area is still recovering from a series of earthquakes in April that killed nearly 50 people.