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Quakes in Iran and Indonesia, volcano eruption in Japan

A video grab from the Japan Meteorological Agency's live camera image shows Io Yama erupting in Miyazaki prefecture, on the southwest island of Kyushu

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake on Thursday struck Iran’s southern province of Bushehr, which is home to a nuclear power plant, state television reported, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Many houses in rural parts of the province are made of mud bricks, which have been known to crumble easily in quake-prone Iran.

“The quake hit the Kaki area in the province this morning,” the television said.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the quake was felt in Bahrain and some other Gulf states.

It said the depth of the quake was 18 km. It gave no further details.

A shallow earthquake, this time in Indonesia brought down hundreds of poorly built buildings forcing more than 2,000 people to flee their homes, rescue officials said on Thursday. The 4.4 magnitude quake hit the Banjarnegara district of Central Java late on Wednesday, killing two people and injuring more than 20.

“Victims were killed or injured by falling buildings,” the national rescue agency said in a statement. “People are being treated in hospital or have been evacuated to temporary shelters.”

Quakes are common in Indonesia, which straddles the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a hot spot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

In Japan a volcano erupted earlier today, shooting clouds of smoke and rocks into the sky, and prompting authorities to ban access to the peak, but there were no reports of any damage or casualties.

The eruption of Io Yama, a 1,298 m (4,258 ft) high volcano on the southernmost main island of Kyushu, was the latest in a series of eruptions in Japan this year. One person has been killed.

Television footage showed grayish smoke jetting from several spots on the side of the mountain in the Kirishima range, in a rural area about 985 km (616 miles) from Tokyo.

A warning level for Io Yama was raised to “3” from “2” on Japan’s 5-level scale, with the Japan Meteorological Agency warning that volcanic rocks could be hurled as far as 2 km (1.2 miles).

Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 of them around the clock. In September 2014, 63 people were killed on Mount Ontake, the worst volcanic toll in Japan for nearly 90 years.


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