Eruption of Mount Ontake, Japan
Volcanic activity at Mount Ontake, in Japan, is pictured in this Pleiades image, acquired 30 September 2014.
Mount Ontake is located in the Chubu region of Japan, and is situated on the border between the Gifu and Nagano prefectures. It has long been regarded as a site of sacred importance in Japanese history, and also serves today as a popular destination for tourism.
It is also, however, an active volcano and on 27 September 2014 it erupted, spewing ash, smoke and toxic gas. Many tourists and mountain climbers were on the mountain at the time of the eruption, and 54 people have been recorded killed so far by the ongoing eruption.
There were no obvious indications that an eruption was imminent, and so people had no warning. This was because of the nature of the volcanic activity, which was caused by shifting gas and water underground. Since the activity began, hundreds of police and relief workers have been searching the mountain for missing persons and recovering those who were caught on the mountain when the eruption started. Some of the victims have been buried under piles of ash, making search efforts much more difficult.
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