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The largest active volcano in Japan has begun spewing plumes of smoke and ash nearly seven miles into the sky.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency has issued its third highest warning after Mount Aso on Kyushu began ejecting volcanic rock and ash 6.8 miles high in the early hours of Saturday morning.
It was the first 'explosive eruption' at the peak since January 1980, according to the meteorological agency, and it also warns of heavy ash fall within 16 miles north east of the mountain.
The eruption was caught on TV. Credit: NHK TV
Police and municipal governments said there were no reports of injuries from the eruption, even though the area around the volcano is a popular hiking spot with tourists.
A window was cracked by a falling rock at an Aso youth centre about 5 km away from the crater, Reuters reported.
"We are concerned that more damage on crops will be reported," an official said.
Ash fell on the cars. Credit: PA
Up to 29,000 households lost power shortly after the eruption but the problem was fixed in less than two hours, a spokesman at Kyushu Electric said.
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