The Mount Aso volcano in southern Japan is spewing chunks of magma and rock for the first time in nearly 22 years. Scores of flights have been canceled and officials have issued warnings to stay away from the crater.

The plume of ash rises more than 3,000 feet into the sky. There is good news. The Japan Meteorological Agency doesn’t expect the eruption to get much worse. Here’s a video showing the most intense eruption from earlier this week.

The Japan Meteorological Agency maintains a level 2 warning for the Mount Aso volcano. A level 2 warning focuses around the volcano’s crater only. People are advised not to approach the crater. Expected volcanic activity includes, “eruption or possibility of eruption that may affect areas near the crater (threat to life is possible in these areas).

Mount Aso is located about 625 miles to the southwest of Tokyo on Kyushu island. It’s also the largest active volcano in Japan and one of the largest in the world. Seismic activity has been on the rise since late August.

While no one has been reported injured so far, local villages have seen crop damage from the ash. Check out how much ash has fallen at nearby Mount Naka, one of the five peaks of Mount Aso.

Mount Aso ash

Image credits: AP, KYODO

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