The danger level in the area was raised from the second through to the fourth, which means preparation for evacuation. The specialists are making the conclusion based on a higher than usual number of volcanic earthquakes. The Japanese government has established a crisis center over a threat of a large-scale volcano eruption, Kyodo news agency reported.
The volcano erupted three years ago, sending ash thousands of meters into the sky and releasing deadly pyroclastic flows and super-heated ash that eventually reached the sea.
About 140 people reportedly live on the remote Kuchinoerabu-jima island that has an area of around 38 square kilometers (15 square miles). The island can only be reached by boat or ferry, which runs between Kuchinoerabu-jima and Yakushima Island. The ferry trip takes about one hour.
Several people were killed as a result of the largest volcanic eruption on Kuchinoerabu-jima in December, 1933.
Japan, which is home to 7 percent of the world’s volcanoes, has seen an upsurge in quake activity in recent months. Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 of them constantly.