A volcano erupted in Japan today, killing at least one person, injuring dozens of others and stranding over 40 people on the mountain. Hikers on Japan’s Mount Ontake were enjoying the changing fall leaves when the volcano, which last erupted in 2007, suddenly spewed to life. Air traffic has been rerouted and rescuers are in the area to assist the remaining climbers. However, as of just a few hours ago, the volcano was continuing to erupt, making visibility very poor and rescue more difficult.
Fall is one of the busiest times on Mount Ontake and about 250 hikers were trekking along the mountain when it erupted. Although most of the hikers made their way back after the event, 41 people remain stranded. “It was like thunder,” a witness told NHK. “I heard boom, boom, then everything went dark.”
The ash spewed during the eruption was ejected as far as 2 miles down the mountain, which is located about 125 miles west of Tokyo. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered the military to assist with rescue efforts as local hospitals prepare to assist with the injured hikers. One hiker managed to catch the eruption on video as it unfolded.