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Japanese Eruption Could Become More Dangerous February 18, 2011
Shinmoe Peak
Shinmoe Peak is only one of Mount Kirishima's many volcanic craters.
Vulcanologists warned that the eruption at Japan’s Shinmoe Peak could strengthen and go on for months as lava continues to fill the volcano’s crater.

Residents of Miyakonojo, on the southern island of Kyushu, were urged to prepare for possible evacuations as predicted rainfall could trigger slides of accumulated ash from the volcano.

Shinmoe's last major eruption began in 1716 and lasted for a year and a half.

Its recent activity has covered nearby fields in ash and disrupted air traffic over southern Japan.

The volcano has been spewing hot ash and rocks across several cities and townships of the Japanese island of Kyushu since January 27.

Photo: Agency