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    Active Japanese Volcano Forces Residents to Flee

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    NTDTelevision

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    More than a thousand people have fled one town on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. Increased levels of volcanic activity are threatening residents and their homes.

    Residents on Japan's southern island of Kyushu were urged to evacuate Monday after a volcano spewed out more hot ash for the sixth day.

    An evacuation advisory issued late Sunday night kept the alert level at three, but expanded the off-limit area to about two miles or three kilometers.

    [Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary]:
    "There are concerns that streams of heated rocks and volcanic ash may reach up to a three-kilometer radius when an explosive eruption occurs."

    As a result, more than 1,000 people in the town of Takaharu, located at the foot of the volcano, were forced to stay at nearby gymnasiums and community centers.

    Residents are worried about an impending eruption.

    [Evacuee]:
    "There was a large rattle on the roof which made me very scared, so I fled here."

    [Evacuee]:
    "The real problems are yet to come. I'm really worried about how long it will last."

    There has been no report of injuries, but reports say some farms have been affected by thick layers of ash.

    Two of the four schools here are still open, but students have to be driven to school and wear facial masks for protection.

    [School Teacher]:
    "Safety is the number one priority for everyone today. First of all, nobody is allowed to go outside. No playing in the playground today."

    A Japanese meteorological official says the last time this volcano showed similar levels of activity was three centuries ago.