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Volcanic Island Off Tokyo Erupts

July 14, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ A column of ash and smoke shot up from a volcanic island off Tokyo on Friday morning, the second such eruption in less than a week, the Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the eruption of Mount Oyama on the island of Miyakejima at around 4:14 a.m., said Seiji Asanuma of the municipal office on the island.

The half mile-high Mount Oyama last erupted on Saturday, briefly coughing up yellowish smoke.

No damage or injuries were reported in that eruption.

On Friday, the grayish smoke rose nearly 5,000 feet, the agency said. The amount of fallen ash was small but smoke was still billowing and moved in a northeasterly direction, it said.

The Meteorological Agency urged residents on the islands, 120 miles south of Tokyo, to remain alert for volcanic activity.

Miyakejima, home to about 4,000 people, and other neighboring islands have been rocked by more than 14,000 earthquakes in recent weeks, including about 5,150 strong enough to be felt by humans.

About 2,000 people on Miyakejima were evacuated last month, but the order was lifted after experts said magma was flowing away from the island under the seabed. The first eruption came after that.

The volcano on the small island has erupted several times in the past 60 years, including in 1983, but the blasts usually came quickly and were over in a few days.

No one was killed or injured in the 1983 eruption because residents were evacuated in time. Eleven people died in a 1940 eruption.

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