Japanese ‘James Bond’ Volcano Shoots to Thrill

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An aerial view shows Shinmoedake peak erupting between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures
An aerial view shows Shinmoedake peak erupting between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, southwestern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo March 6, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
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TOKYO (Reuters)

A Japanese volcano which featured in a 1960s James Bond movie shot smoke and ash thousands of metres into the sky on Tuesday, prompting the cancellation of flights to and from a nearby airport, with the eruption likely to continue for some time

Shinmoedake, in a largely rural area some 985 km (616 miles) from Tokyo on Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu, had been erupting on a smaller scale since March 1, when entrance to the 1,421 metre-high peak was restricted.

 

Shinmoedake Volcano is seen erupting in Miyazaki Prefecture on Kyushu Island
Shinmoedake Volcano is seen erupting in Miyazaki Prefecture on Kyushu Island, Japan March 6, 2018 in this still image taken from social media video. MASA TWITTER @TANK1090/via REUTERS

 

Television footage showed smoke and ash billowing high into the sky, with lava visible deep inside a crater at the mountain, which featured in the 1967 James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice“. NHK public television said the smoke and ash had risen as far as 3,650 metres in the peak’s strongest eruption in seven years.

 

Shinmoedake Volcano spews thick smoke in Kobayashi City, Miyazaki Prefecture
Shinmoedake Volcano spews thick smoke in Kobayashi City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan March 6, 2018 in this still image taken from social media video. MIYOCO TWITTER @MYC_MIYOCO/via REUTERS

 

“The mountain has been erupting for a while, but this is the strongest day yet,” said an official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency. “This will go on for a while.”

Some 65 flights were cancelled, NHK added.

 

A video grab from the Japan Meteorological Agency's live camera image shows Shinmoedake peak erupting between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, southwestern Japan
A video grab from the Japan Meteorological Agency’s live camera image shows Shinmoedake peak erupting between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, southwestern Japan March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Japan Meteorological Agency/Handout via Reuters

 

Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 of them around the clock. In September 2014, 63 people were killed on Mount Ontake, the worst volcanic toll in Japan for nearly 90 years.

In January, a member of Japan’s military was struck and killed when rocks from a volcanic eruption rained down on skiers at a mountain resort in central Japan.

 

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Nick Macfie)

 

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