Four people were injured on Tuesday (Jan 23) and another person reported missing after a volcano erupted near a popular Japanese ski resort, prompting an avalanche, officials said.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency urged nearby residents to stay away from Mt Kusatsu Shirane after it detected what it said was “slight volcanic activity”.
According to the Japanese government’s top spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, four people in a ropeway gondola at a ski resort in Gunma, northwest of Tokyo, were injured by shattered glass.
Television news channels reported as many as 15 people may have been injured by rocks thrown out by the volcano.
Local fire department official Yuji Shinohara also told AFP there were four injured, adding: “We are still trying to help them.”
“The avalanche was apparently caused by a volcano explosion,” said Shinohara, with another local official confirming that authorities were also hunting for one person still missing.
Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 of them around the clock. In September 2014, 63 people were killed on Mount Ontake, the worst volcanic disaster in Japan for nearly 90 years.
— Nippon.com (@nippon_en) January 23, 2018