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Search operation on Mt Ontake suspended until next spring

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I feel for the families that can not yet get the closure of a proper funeral, but I am sure they understand the danger and do not wish Mt. Ontake to take any more lives.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This just does not feel right, to leave the bodies of seven people up there. I would not wish any harm to come to the rescuers, but to give up on retrieving the bodies is just wrong.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If they're under huge fields of ash, they're going to be really hard to find.

Mountain rescues are often suspended during winter and bodies not found til the snow thaws in spring.

Maybe when it dries out they can get sniffer dogs up there.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@LaWren

I would not wish any harm to come to the rescuers, but to give up on retrieving the bodies is just wrong.

Yes, but you can't have it both ways. Better a corpse (temporarily) abandoned than any more pointless fatalities.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There is something less than human about not pressing on with the recovery of the bodies. Surely they arent going to be easier to find in the spring. How treacherous are the conditions up there right now, surely it isnt that cold yet?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

'less than human'?

Volunteer!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

LaWren: "There is something less than human about not pressing on with the recovery of the bodies."

The conditions are deplorable and EXTREMELY dangerous at best! Are you suggesting they add more bodies to the count? With winter quickly coming on it's only going to get worse. No, it won't be 'easy' come spring, but it WILL be 'easier', yes, because some of the accumulation will have melted by then and perhaps some of the debris cleared up in the melt (when the snow comes and melts, that is). It's sad that they cannot continue, but that is not in their control unless, again, they want to put more people at risk. They've done an excellent job in horrible conditions (including two typhoons and already dangerous conditions with the poisonous gases) and should be applauded for their efforts.

As to the families of those still not found, I feel truly sorry, but hope they can find some comfort in knowing the people did their best, and that to a small extent efforts will continue come spring. I hope they are found then.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Conditions for the next three days:

" On-take Weather Summary: Mostly dry. Freeze-thaw conditions (max 1°C on Sun morning, min -2°C on Sat morning). Winds decreasing (near gales from the WNW on Fri morning, light winds from the WSW by Sat night)."

For the beginning of next week:

"Heavy rain (total 20mm), mostly on Tue night. Becoming colder with a light covering of snow, mostly falling on Tue night. Freeze-thaw conditions (max 3°C on Tue night, min -3°C on Thu morning). Mainly severe gales."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

LaWrenOct. 17, 2014 - 10:24AM JST

There is something less than human about not pressing on with the recovery of the bodies. Surely they arent going to be easier to find in the spring. How treacherous are the conditions up there right now, surely it isnt that cold yet?

They are doing as much as they can and all you can say is that its "less than Human?" I think you are being less than human. Expecting these rescue workers to press on in dangerous conditions. Seriously, how can you even think of it in this way? Heres a solution, climb up there yourself and help them find these bodies

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Those that are trained to go into dangerous situations and deal with dangerous conditions, UNLIKE ME, should do so.

When people start abandoning the dead, instead of giving them a decent funeral, it does not say very much for the state of their society, the limited search in spring is not exactly trying their hardest is it.

Other people think not trying their hardest to get a body back for families to bury is fine, good for you. I hope and pray none of you are ever have to be in the situations these poor families are facing.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

When people start abandoning the dead, instead of giving them a decent funeral, it does not say very much for the state of their society

Wow. You want them to keep searching in temps as low a -3C, at over 3,000 meters, in gale force winds. The PROFESSIONALS have decided it's too hazardous to keep searching. You admit you are not trained, so why not refrain from making statements about that which you know nothing?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How treacherous are the conditions up there right now, surely it isnt that cold yet?

They are very treacherous. The cold is probably the least of their problems - as Himajin has mentioned, near gale-force winds, heavy rain, snow, severe gales. Not to mention the thick layer of ash that has been turned into treacherous, sticky clay, described as a "bottomless swamp" into which personnel sink in places up to the waist or even up to the chest. Add to that the danger from volcanic gas, snow/ash avalanches, and I'm surprised they've stuck at it so long. I feel for the families of those not yet found, but I see no point in risking hundreds more lives in order to try (and likely fail, given the conditions) to retrieve a few more bodies.

I hope and pray none of you are ever have to be in the situations these poor families are facing.

So do I. But what you are asking is for the families of the more than 1,900 Self-Defense Force troops, firefighters and police who have been part of the rescue attempt to be put in that very same situation. To say that they are 'not exactly trying their hardest' shames you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ LaWrenOct

The conditions there are very very dangerous even for trained rescuers. The bodies are probably buried deep under what has been described in the media as 'bottomless swamp' of ash and slush that is beginning to harden.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A peaceful, respectful laying to rest of the dead is a sign of a civilized society. A "limited" attempt to recover bodies in spring to me, at least seems to not being doing their utmost to fulfill this basic pillar of civilization. I have no shame in holding that view, I was not aware that everyone had to hold the same opinions nowadays.

I suppose that the high financial cost of "retrieving a few bodies", as Cleo charmingly put it, has something to do with it. I would not wish any harm to come to the rescuers, I just would hope that if it is truely impossible to do any more work on the volcano now, that they would at least make every effort to recover remains in the spring.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

LaWren, The rescuers are public servants, so the financial costs are not very high. And if the financial cost were the issue, why would they resume next spring instead of giving up altogether?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@LaWren "A peaceful, respectful laying to rest of the dead is a sign of a civilized society." So you lay the blame of the changing of the seasons on Japanese society? You say they are not doing their utmost to bring the bodies back. How many rescuers have to die before you consider it their utmost? At least one, I guess. You seem to have the mistaken impression, especially from where you say "Surely they arent going to be easier to find in the spring," that you don't understand how dangerous weather can be, especially at those altitudes where it is extreme and unpredictable. Obviously you have no idea what the conditions are like up there and yet you feel superior as you criticize the judgements of professionals from your warm home. Shameful.

"I was not aware that everyone had to hold the same opinions nowadays."

Everyone has an opinion, but they aren't all equally good.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was not aware that everyone had to hold the same opinions nowadays.

No everyone doesn't have to hold the same opinion, but at least be responsible for the opinion you do hold. From the comfort of your computer, you are asking that hundreds of people continue to put their own lives in jeopardy working in very, very dangerous conditions, with very little prospect of success. And as the season progresses that very little prospect grows even less.

Maybe you would like the job of informing the families of rescue workers when their loved ones fail to return, or return with permanently damaged health. Will you volunteer to go up on that mountain and search, in gale-force winds laden with volcanic gas, up to your thighs in rapidly hardening ash, and freezing temperatures? Never demand others do something you would not be prepared to do yourself.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They show plenty of footage on the news, and conditions have changed dramatically since the typhoon and heavy rains. It's really terrible up there now. Snow has fallen and the ground covered with ash is almost totally frozen. If you have the chance to watch the workers on television, you will notice that most of them can't even use their shovels to break up the ash. It's pointless to continue at this time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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