Shinmoedake, a volcano in southern Japan, erupted for the ninth time in a week. The 4,660-foot volcano spewed a cloud of smoke and ash as high as 4,920 feet on Wednesday.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a level 3 alert, which indicates an eruption may seriously affect places near residential areas. Evacuations are carried out when the alert reaches a level 5.
The volcano, one of 20 inside the Mount Kirishima volcano group, woke from its dormant state on Jan. 26. The JMA says the lava dome in the crater has grown from 10 meters to about 600 meters. On Friday, Jan. 28, volcanic lightning lit up the smoke-filled sky above the volcano.
The eruption has forced Cathay Pacific Airways to delay flights to and from Nagoya, Tokyo and Osaka. Passengers have been advised to check the airline’s website for updates. Though some flights had been restored, airport officials said ash on the ground and in the air forced more cancellations Thursday, according to the Washington Post.
Mount Shinmoe may be a familiar site to movie-goers. It was the setting for the villain Ernst Blofeld’s volcano headquarters in the 1967 Bond movie, You Only Live Twice.