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(Update) Small Eruption Occurs at Japan's Mount Asama

(Update) Small Eruption Occurs at Japan's Mount Asama

   Tokyo, Aug. 8 (Jiji Press)--A small eruption occurred at Mount Asama in central Japan on Wednesday night, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
   During the eruption that lasted for about 20 minutes, volcanic smoke rose as high as over 1,800 meters from the crater while large volcanic rocks flew as far as about 200 meters from it, the agency said.
   The agency raised its volcanic alert for the 2,568-meter-tall mountain from Level One to Level 3, which bans access to the mountain, after the eruption happened around 10:08 p.m. (1:08 p.m. GMT).
   The agency warned of possible volcanic rocks and pyroclastic flows within 4 kilometers of the crater of the mountain, which straddles Gunma and Nagano prefectures, citing the possibility of larger eruptions occurring.
   The eruption was accompanied by only a small number of volcanic earthquakes and no tectonic activity, Takashi Kato, director of the agency's Volcanology Division, said at a press conference in the early hours of Thursday. "It's unthinkable that magma movement deep underground is intensifying," he said.

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