Volcano Erupts Without Warning in Japan

A t least one person was killed and greater than 30 people were seriously injured as a result of an unexpected eruption of Mount Ontake in Japan earlier today. Dozens of hikers were reportedly trapped on the mountain.

Incoming domestic flights at Haneda Airport were delayed up to almost an hour because they were forced to change routes; while international flights to and from the airport were not affected by the eruption.

Ash has covered lodges and other areas of the mountain, resembling a landscape covered with snow; and the eruption is supposedly continuing at this time. At least 80 people have been sent by police officers from Nagano to the mountain to help the climbers descend to safety.

Some incredible photographs and video can be found here.

According to this article written by Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito of Reuters, greater than “250 hikers at one stage had been stranded on the mountain, which is 3,067 meters (10,062 feet) high and last erupted in 2007.”

Mount Ontake is located approximately 200 kilometers west of Tokyo and straddles the Nagano and Gifu prefectures.

An eruption of the Mount Mayon volcano in the Philippines is still possible within weeks. There was also concern pertaining to the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland last month; but the threat of an eruption seems to be less likely at this time.

If you intend to travel to Japan in the immediate future, check with the airline of which you will be a passenger for the latest updates — if any — pertaining to your flight.

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