Japan have issued warnings to thousands of residents in Kagoshima that a nearby volcano is likely to erupt.
Officials have placed the area to the second highest level of alert, as officials worry that an eruption could be devastating following the re-activation of a nearby nuclear reactor just 30 miles from the volcano.
Around 600,000 residents may be forced to evacuate the city, as the Japanese Meteorological Agency say the possibility of a large-scale eruption “has become extremely high“.
It warned residents to exercise “strict caution” and prepare for evacuation.
An official told Sky News: “There is the danger that stones could rain down on areas near the mountain’s base, so we are warning residents of those areas to be ready to evacuate if needed.”
It comes as a nuclear reactor 50 kilometres (31 miles) away was switched back on for the very first time on Tuesday after it was closed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
Critics had warned that the reopening of the Sendai plant, the first in Japan’s renewed nuclear programme, was premature and Japan’s nuclear reactors are still vulnerable to natural disaster.
In October last year, the meterological agency warned that another volcano, Ioyama, near to Sendai plant was at risk of an eruption.
Japan is on the so called “Ring of Fire” along the Earth’s tectonic plates where earthquakes and volcanos are thought to be more common.
According to the agency there are more than 100 active volcanoes in Japan making it one of the most seismological volatile places on earth.
The last major eruption of Sakurajima was in 2013 where an estimated 63 people were killed.
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