|Above, the Mt. Aso Museum lobby in 2007. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Japanese authorities have said that the eruption of Mount Aso on the island of Kyushu was a surprise.
The alert level for the volcano is now at Level 3, which prohibits entry to the mountain.
According to the Japan Times:
Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture erupted at 9:43 a.m. Monday, sending ash 2,000 meters into the sky and forcing the evacuation of dozens of tourists, the Meteorological Agency said.
Police and other authorities said about 30 tourists who were near the crater at the time of the eruption were safely evacuated, and the government said there were no immediate reports of injuries or casualties.
The Meteorological Agency warned any tourists in the area to evacuate quickly.I visited Mount Aso in 2007 and only had to contend with a spring blizzard.
To read more, go here.