|Japan : Volcanic Eruption : 2000/03-|
|Outline||The eruption occurred around 1:10 p.m. (0400 GMT). Experts monitoring the volcano's seismic activity had predicted the eruption, and had evacuated more than 11,000 residents from homes at its base. Volcanic ash began to rain down on several towns near the volcano shortly after the eruption. The area was enveloped by the pungent smell of sulphur.
After the eruption, Date city official Kazuki Owada said the city had widened its evacuation order to include another 548 people. All 13,000 residents in Abuta village were told to evacuate.
A military helicopter detected Thursday that cracks on the volcano's slopes had widened to 100 meters (330 feet). Mount Usu is 732 meters (2,402 feet) high.
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