Japan raises volcanic alert for Mt. Hakone near Tokyo.
TOKYO, May 6 (KUNA) -- The Japan Meteorological Agency on Wednesday raised the volcanic alert for Mt. Hakone near Tokyo, warning of a possible minor eruption. The alert upgrade from level 1 to level 2 on its five-point scale, which bans entry to areas around the Owakudani volcanic vent, the popular tourist site about 80 km southwest of Tokyo. The agency said it has not detected signs of a major eruption, but warned of a possible minor eruption. Following the upgrade, local authorities issued an evacuation order for a 300-meter radius around Owakudani volcanic vent, and closed the road accessing to the area and ropeway operations. The agency raised the alert level for the mountain after detecting on Tuesday 116 volcanic earthquakes, the highest ever recorded in one day. It also said a tremor measuring more than magnitude 2.0 observed Tuesday evening was the biggest in the series of recent tremors. Since April 26, seismic activity in the Mt Hakone region has been increasing. Last September, Mt. Ontake in central Japan erupted, killing at least 57 hikers in the country's worst post-war volcanic disaster. (end) mk.tg
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