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In January 2011, the Shinmoedake volcano erupted for the first time in 52 years - sending ash and rock flying for miles. Thousands were told to temporarily evacuate the area, but the volcano seemed to settle and there was only mild activity until the 1st of March, where it ceased any activity. However, the volcano erupted again - sending ash and rock 4 kilometres into the air, creating a giant ash cloud against the blue sky of the south-west. The Shinmoedake volcano is 4,689-feet tall, and towers over many communities.
A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted Sunday after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and rocks up to four kilometres (two and a half miles) into the air, a local official says.