<p><strong>Ash gushing from an erupting <a id="zr1y" title="volcano" href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/volcano-profile/">volcano</a> in <a id="x7gs" title="Japan" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/japan-guide/">Japan</a> covers a downtown area of the city of Takaharumachi in Miyazaki Prefecture on Monday.</strong></p><p>The Shinmoedake volcano awakened last week, spewing ash, lava, and lightning (<a id="tjs3" title="see pictures" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/01/pictures/110128-james-bond-volcano-eruption-lightning-japan-science-kirishima/">see pictures of last week's volcanic lightning</a>). The biggest explosion yet occurred on January 31, with a bang that shattered windows five miles (eight kilometers) away, according to BBC News.</p><p>Residents living near the 4,662-foot-tall (1,421-meter-tall) volcano have been advised to evacuate to a shelter.</p><p>(Also see <a id="ni3g" title="pictures: &quot;Merapi Volcano Ash Smothers Indonesian Villages.&quot;" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/10/photogalleries/101028-indonesia-volcano-mount-merapi-ash-eruption-world-pictures-photos/">pictures: "Merapi Volcano Ash Smothers Indonesian Villages."</a>)</p>

Ash City

Ash gushing from an erupting volcano in Japan covers a downtown area of the city of Takaharumachi in Miyazaki Prefecture on Monday.

The Shinmoedake volcano awakened last week, spewing ash, lava, and lightning (see pictures of last week's volcanic lightning). The biggest explosion yet occurred on January 31, with a bang that shattered windows five miles (eight kilometers) away, according to BBC News.

Residents living near the 4,662-foot-tall (1,421-meter-tall) volcano have been advised to evacuate to a shelter.

(Also see pictures: "Merapi Volcano Ash Smothers Indonesian Villages.")

Photograph by Motoki Nakashima, Yomiuri Shimbun/AP

Pictures: "Ominous" Japan Volcano Erupts Again

The biggest explosion since the Shinmoedake volcano awoke last week coated cities in gray ash and shot debris 6,500 feet into the air.

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