World

Japan's Mount Aso erupts for first time in 22 years, disrupting flights

A volcano in southern Japan blasted out chunks of magma Friday in the first such eruption in 22 years, causing flight cancellations and prompting warnings to stay away from its crater.

Eruption not expected to increase in scale

Mount Aso in southwestern Japan spews ash into the air as the volcano erupted for the first time in more than two decades. (Kyodo/Reuters)

A volcano in southern Japan blasted out chunks of magma Friday in the first such eruption in 22 years, causing flight cancellations and prompting warnings to stay away from its crater.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that Mount Aso spewed out lava debris and smoke, shooting plumes of ash a kilometre into the sky. Dozens of flights from Kumamoto, the nearest city, were cancelled.

The observatory did not expect the eruption to increase in scale. Mount Aso, about 1,000 kilometres southwest of Tokyo on Kyushu island, is one of the world's largest. Earthquakes and other seismic activity stepped up in late August.

Eruptions by another volcano, Mount Ontake, in Nagano west of Tokyo killed more than 50 people in late September.

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