Flights halted in Japan as Shinmoedake Bond film volcano erupts


All flights passing to and fro from the nearby Kagoshima airport were cancelled since the volcano was still in eruption mode. No injuries or building damage have been reported.

"The plume reached the height of 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) for the first time since April 3, 2011" following a total of 29 eruptions at Mount Shinmoedake, Japan's weather agency said in a statement.

Japanese broadcaster NHK, showed footage of grey smoke and ash billowing into the sky, while orange lava rose to the mouth of the crater.

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Dozens of flights were grounded at the nearest airport as a result of the eruption.

The volcano erupted violently several times, shooting up ash and smoke up to 2,300 metres.

"The mountain has been erupting for a while, but this is the strongest day yet", said an official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency, quoted by Reuters.

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Shinmoedake volcano earned fame as it was featured in the 1960s" iconic James Bond movie "You only live twice'. Others used umbrellas to protect from falling ash, which covered cars and buildings.

Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 of them around the clock. In January, a surprise eruption of another volcano in central Japan killed a soldier during ski training and injured 11 others.

The agency, which already restricted access to the volcano, decided on Thursday to expand the area that is likely to be affected by eruptions to within 3km of the crater.

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On September 27, 2014, Japan suffered its deadliest eruption in nearly 90 years when Mount Ontake, in central Nagano prefecture, burst unexpectedly to life.