Japanese authorities have told the residents of remote southern island Kuchinoerabu to evacuate after a violent eruption rocked the Mount Shindake volcano.
The Japan Metrological Agency said that no injuries were reported after the volcano erupted about 10 a.m. Friday local time, sending a dense a black cloud as high as 9,000 meters and a flow of hot gases and rock down the mountainside into the ocean.
The island has a population of only around 140 people and their only way out is by boat.
Shindake last erupted in the summer of 2014, and has been under a warning level of three on the scale of one to five. It was raised to five after the eruption.
The island, part of the Ryukyu archipelago, is about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Kyushu Electric Power's Sendai nuclear plant on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu.
It was not immediately clear if the eruption would affect the power company's hopes to restart the plant, which on Wednesday cleared the last step of the nuclear regulator's stringent safety hurdles introduced after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011.
Japan is one of the world's most seismically active nations, and there has been a surge in volcanic activity in recent weeks.
Some material for this report came from Reuters.