Photo/IllutrationMount Ioyama, part of the Kirishima mountain range, spews grayish smoke in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture, at 3:40 p.m. on April 19. (Provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

EBINO, Miyazaki Prefecture--Mount Ioyama, a volcano that is part of the Kirishima mountain range, erupted at 3:39 p.m. on April 19 for the first time in 250 years, spewing grayish smoke high in the air.

The Japan Meteorological Agency raised the alert level to 3 of the country’s 5-level scale to keep people from the 1,317-meter mountain, cautioning against falling rocks and pyroclastic flows from the volcano within a 2-kilometer range.

The alert level prior to the recent eruption was 2, in which access to the area around the volcanic vents was prohibited.

The Kirishima mountain range straddles Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures on the main island of Kyushu.

The eruption of Mount Ioyama was the latest in a series of volcano eruptions in the mountain range.

The last time the eruption of Mount Ioyama was recorded was in 1768, according to the agency’s Fukuoka Regional Headquarters.

The agency raised the warning level to 2 in February, citing volcanic activity.

It marked the first time the agency has raised the alert level to 3 for the mountain.

Mount Shinmoedake, also part of the range, erupted in October for the first time in six years and has been active since with occasional eruptions.