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Volcano in Japan Erupts Again


White smoke raises from Mount Shinmoedake in Kirishima mountain range in Kagoshima prefecture, Japan's southern island of Kyushu, February 1, 2011

White smoke raises from Mount Shinmoedake in Kirishima mountain range in Kagoshima prefecture, Japan's southern island of Kyushu, February 1, 2011

Japan's Mount Shinmoedake volcano erupted again Tuesday, a blast the country's meteorological agency says is the biggest since it awoke from a decades-long slumber last week.

The eruption sent a large cloud of ash and smoke hundreds of meters in the air, and was so powerful it blew out windows in buildings about eight kilometers away. A woman suffered cuts from shattered glass caused by the blast.

Authorities have extended a restricted area around Mount Shinmoedake from two to three kilometers in the aftermath of the volcano's first major eruption in 52 years. Air and rail services in the area were affected, and authorities have advised more than 1,000 residents living near the volcano to evacuate.

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