Volcano in southern Japan erupts for 1st time in 250 years

A volcano in southern Japan has erupted for the first time in 250 years, and the authorities have set up a no-go zone around the mountain.

The Meteorological Agency said Friday that Mount Io erupted Thursday for the first time since 1768, spewing smoke and ash high into the sky. The volcano is part of the Kirishima mountain range on Japan's southern main island of Kyushu.

The agency has expanded a no-go zone to the entire mountain from just around the volcano's crater.

Officials said explosions have briefly subsided Friday, but cautioned residents in nearby towns against falling volcanic rocks and ash.

Another volcano nearby also erupted violently in March for the first time in seven years.

Japan sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and has 110 active volcanoes.