News Evacuation preparation alert lifted around Shinmoe Peak
MIYAKONOJO, Japan (Kyodo) -- The city of Miyakonojo in Miyazaki Prefecture on Monday lifted its alert urging residents to prepare for evacuation to avoid possible mudslides of accumulated ash from Shinmoe Peak, a volcano on the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures in southwestern Japan.
The city lifted the alert, issued Sunday, around 8 a.m. Monday, as rainfall exceeding 4 millimeters an hour, the benchmark for such alerts, no longer was expected after 9 a.m. Monday.
The volcano erupted at 5:07 a.m. Monday for the first time since last Friday and the 11th time since late January, according to a local meteorological observatory.
According to the observatory, rainfall of up to 3 mm between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday was recorded around the volcano.
The eruption spewed rocks, breaking the rear window of a car parked at the Kirishima service area on the Miyazaki expressway, which had its Kobayashi-Takaharu section closed to traffic to clear rocks from the expressway, police said.
The rocks also broke car windows at more than 10 places in the city of Kobayashi, the city said.
In lifting the alert, Miyakonojo Mayor Makoto Nagamine said at a press conference the city would maintain the criterion of rainfall to provide such information.
(Mainichi Japan) February 14, 2011