Underwater volcano erupts in Japan’s Ogasawara Islands

The Japan Meteorological Agency said an underwater volcano far south of the country’s main island, Honshu, has erupted. It issued a volcanic warning for nearby waters.

The agency says a weather observation satellite recorded volcanic material coming out of the Funka Asane area in the Ogasawara Islands around 6 p.m. Sunday.

The column stood about 5,500 meters above sea level. A satellite image shows it swelling to the northeast above the waters.

The eruptions continued thereafter. The volcanic plumes reached 7,000 meters a.s.l. around 11:30 p.m. Sunday and 2:20 a.m. Monday.

The agency says volcanic activity may continue at Funka Asane. It calls on vessels sailing in nearby waters to remain vigilant for falling rocks, floating debris and the rapid spread of volcanic gases and ash.

Funka Asane is located north of Ioto Island, also known as Iwojima.

Weather agency records show it was the first eruption at Funka Asane since fishing boats observed two or three outbursts in the area each year from 1930 to 1945. The agency observed l discolored water in the area for about 40 years from 1953.

Funka Asane is about 130 kilometers from the underwater volcano Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba, which caused a massive eruption last year.