Japan's Sakurajima volcano erupts, spewing ash and rocks into sky

Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanos in Japan Credit: AP

A volcano on Japan’s main southern island of Kyushu erupted on Sunday, spewing out ash and rocks.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency raised the alert level to five - the highest - after Sakurajima volcano erupted at around 8.05pm local time.

Large rocks could be seen raining down up to 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) away.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in nearby towns but about 120 residents in two towns were advised to evacuate their homes.

Footage on Japan’s NHK public television channel showed orange flames flashing near the crater and dark smoke of ash billowing from the mountaintop high up into the night sky.

The agency warned of falling volcanic rocks in areas within 3 kilometres (1.8 miles) of the crater and possible flow of lava, ash and searing gas within 2 kilometres (1.2 miles).

Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanos in Japan and has repeatedly erupted. It used to be an island but became a peninsula following an eruption in 1914.

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