<div>The Shinmoedake volcano on Japan's Kyushu island, after lying dormant for a couple of weeks, resumes activity in a blast heard miles away. It was unclear if the eruption was linked to Friday's massive earthquake in the north.

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Hundreds flee in Japan after Shinmoedake volcano begins spewing ash, boulders

Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear plant meltdowns -- as if the people of Japan didn't have enough to cope with, a volcano began erupting Sunday.

Hundreds of people were forced to flee when the Shinmoedake volcano on the southern island of Kyushu began spewing ash and boulders.

The explosion from the eruption could be heard miles away and an ash plume extended two miles into the sky.

Shinmoedake, one of several volcanic peaks in the Kirishima mountain range, is 950 miles from the epicenter of Friday's earthquake and scientists weren't sure if the quake triggered the eruption.

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State Of Emergency At Nuclear Plant, Volcano Erupts In Japan

Officials have declared a state of emergency in Onagawa amid fears of a nuclear meltdown, and in southern Japan a volcano has erupted on March 13, 2011.

Updated at 10:02 AM PST March 13, 2011. For the latest updates follow @McCormicker on Twitter.

A volcano has erupted in southern Japan, according to ABC News. It is unknown if the eruption is related to the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck off Japan's east coast Friday.

Japan’s government has declared a state of emergency in Onagawa amid fears of another problem -- a third nuclear meltdown. Damaged during a tsunami that surged through Japan’s eastern coastal areas, a third reactor is trying to be cooled down with seawater by plant operators.

BBC reports a second nuclear plant in Onagawa has lead Japan's government to declare a state of emergency in Japan around 10:00 AM EST on March 13, 2011.

Partial nuclear meltdowns at two unstable reactors in Japan have officials and operators scrambling to prevent a nuclear disaster on Sunday, March 13, 2011.

Two unstable nuclear reactors may have already caused partial meltdowns at ***ushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, where according to The New York Times a troubled reactor has Japanese officials “bracing for a second nuclear explosion.”