Mount Aso Live Camera Footage Shows Japanese Volcano Erupting, Shooting Ash Miles High

Japan's Mount Aso volcano suddenly erupted while tourists looked on from a viewing station, with the whole thing caught on livestream.

Mount Aso erupted on Wednesday morning at just after 11:40 a.m. local time.

The eruption sent an enormous cloud of ash and dust high into the air, engulfing the nearby landscape. There have been no immediate reports of casualties, Reuters reported early Wednesday morning.

The 5,223-foot-tall mountain is a tourist destination on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.

There is a visitor center located a few kilometers away from the volcano—the Aso Volcano Museum—which hosts a livestream on YouTube pointed towards Mount Aso.

The livestream, which shows the current situation and also allows viewers to rewind back to the past 12 hours, portrays how the volcano erupted. It can be seen below.

In the several hours leading up to the eruption the volcano is clearly seen by the camera, giving off a small, steady plume of white smoke from inside its crater.

As the morning passes the smoke appears to get slightly thicker. Then, all of a sudden, the mountain is rocked by an explosion that sends a vast cloud of black ash rushing into the sky.

Within minutes the camera's view, which previously clearly showed the volcano, the sky and the surrounding area, are all totally obscured by the huge black cloud that rolls quickly over the landscape.

For a time the cloud threatens to engulf the nearby visitor center, from which people are watching on.

Thankfully the cloud stops short, and within minutes is swept away by the wind, leaving the volcano looking as calm as it had before, though the surrounding landscape now appears gray.

The plume of ash from Mount Aso reached 2.2 miles high, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency raised the alert level for the volcano to three on a scale of five, warning people not to approach it. Under levels four and five, some people would have to start evacuating.

The explosion comes as Spain's Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma continues its month-long eruption, with lava having already destroyed hundreds of acres of land and around 2,000 buildings over the past few weeks—though so far no-one has been killed, according to Spanish news outlet The Local.

Last week the La Palma eruption engulfed a cement plant, leading authorities to order a lockdown for people living nearby due to fears of toxic fumes.

Smoke rises from Mount Aso
Smoke is seen rising from Mount Aso in December, 2019. The volcano is thought to be one of the world's most active. Charly Triballeau/AFP / Getty