Based on analysis of data points including seismic activity and crustal movements, the agency later said that a large-scale eruption was not imminent on Sakurajima.
The volcano erupted Sunday at about 8:05 p.m. local time, according to the meteorological agency. Videos of the eruption show bright orange lava spurting from the volcano. The agency asked residents to be cautious against pyroclastic flows — a hot and mobile mixture of rock, gas and ash — within about 1.2 miles of the site.
Local reports cited volcanic stones falling as far as 1.5 miles from the site of the volcano, and some nearby areas have been advised to evacuate. Most of the city of Kagoshima is separated from the volcano by a bay.
There have been no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
Nuclear regulators announced that Sendai Nuclear Power plant, about 31 miles from the volcano, had seen no irregularities, Reuters reported.