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Volcano erupts in central Japan; 7 unconscious, 250 stranded

29 Comments
By Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito

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29 Comments
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Surely there were warning signs leading up to the eruption, volcanoes being one of those natural hazard that wake relatively slowly.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

My prayers are with the one who was seriously injured! I didn't read or hear anything about the "experts" saying this volcano was likely to erupt. Hopefully Kyushu doesn't have this kind of surprise eruption, after the nuclear plant is restarted.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I like the last line: "No nuclear power plants are located nearby." Who in name's sake would place a nuclear power plant near a volcano?

I've seen a lot of volcanoes during my travels around Japan, and no way would I put a nuclear power plant near one. They all look very unfriendly ...

Never been to Mt. Ontake ... but looks like a nice place to visit ... once the rumblings & eruptions stop ...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Somebody already posted video from there. Looks very scary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWXTiSbE4zc

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nearly go there in early sept this year but no buses that day!!! Real scary if encounter such thing...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

volcanoes being one of those natural hazard that wake relatively slowly.

Evidently not in this case.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Mt Ontake is located some 200 kilometers west of Tokyo. No nuclear power plants are located nearby

Lucky, aren't they? So, how close to a volcano is a safe distance for a nuclear plant?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Volcanologists can predict eruptions—if they have a thorough understanding of a volcano's eruptive history, if they can install the proper instrumentation on a volcano well in advance of an eruption, and if they can continuously monitor and adequately interpret data coming from that equipment. Japan is usually very much on top of that.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

oh my god but did not know that the pyroclastic cloud and dangerous

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Volcanologists can predict eruptions—if they have a thorough understanding of a volcano's eruptive history,

Yeah, right! Tell that to the thousands of people that died when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Dis: That's because the Philippines doesn't have the detailed infrastructure in place. QED. Plus, talk about hyperbole, and although bad enough, thousands didn't die. It was about 800 people.

On NHK they are saying there was seismic activity from the 10th this month at the volcano. So, well. There we are.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Mt Ontake is located some 200 kilometers west of Tokyo. No nuclear power plants are located nearby. "

Whew!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The last eruption was in 1979 and before that it was thought to be inactive. Never climbed Ontake but I been to the base area to make paintings.

The JMA puts its at LEVEL 3 which means don't approach the volcano.

There are unconfirmed reports of 4 hikers buried and another 280 stuck on the peak?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When I heard about this a few hours ago, like some of you I wondered why the hike people were allowed in the region if there was any activity going on (as usually there are some indications of an imminent eruption), but it appears the whole thing was rather sudden. I still think it's relatively stupid, despite Japan being mostly precipitous mountains with little relative living space, to put a bunch of hotels where the are, and has Ontake has erupted before, but still.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Here's an idea; if you're on a volcano and it starts to erupt, don't film it, RUN DUMMY!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

According to Google Maps, Mount Ontake is southwest of the small city of Shiojiri on the Chuo Main Line railway. Expect a possible ash fall in Shiojiri (and maybe a light dusting of ash in Matsumoto north of Shiojiri) from this eruption.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Let's be clear that prediction may or may not happen. If a Volcanologists make a forecast on an eruption, it is basically a 'guess' based on the past data. These forecast is to protect the people and should not be criticized if it does not predict correctly. But if it fails to give out warnings, especially after discovering an increase in volcanic earthquake (52 - 85) since the 10th of this month, it should be pounded for not doing it's job.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

When I heard about this a few hours ago, like some of you I wondered why the hike people were allowed in the region if there was any activity going on (as usually there are some indications of an imminent eruption), but it appears the whole thing was rather sudden.

Bit of a disappointment. Gotta blame somebody.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Mt. Fuji is also a volcano, and everyone is still allowed to go up there. I was up there 3 weeks ago for the 3rd year in a row. I am not too concerned because I understand the risks (last eruption 300 years ago). Volcanoes tend to erupt whenever they feel like it, and the experts seem to show up after the fact.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well now, the Japanese TV news says at least 1 person is DEAD. RIP poor dead hiker, mountain climber. Yes, this volcano is scary, but they are part of mother nature, and what really scares me is that this may only be an OMEN. I mean, we are supposed to have some really big earthquakes and the earth moves, but these cracks come up as volcanoes so I hope this is not the case but if it is, better to be PREPARED and ready for the worst.

-1 ( +2 / -4 )

Let's hope the other 250 are ok.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here's an idea; if you're on a volcano and it starts to erupt, don't film it, RUN DUMMY!

Here's another idea. Don't run, dummy. Judging from the terrain on the video, cautious movement off the mountain is necessary. Dummy won't get far if he wrenches an ankle or falls in his attempt to run down the mountain. First grabbing or creating a mask and protecting the head with a hat is a good idea, too.

There's no quick way to get down a mountain. Since he seems to have found himself in the wrong place at a bad time, panic is dummy's worst enemy now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ontake has shown mild activity for a long time. How long I don't know, but it smells of sulphur at times depending where you are and which direction the wind is coming from. I've never seen anything like this ever so it's not surprising people were caught off guard. The routes are mostly easy so it's also not surprising that the were a lot of people, especially at this time of year - a lot who are not so fit or experienced because of easy access. (A bit harder in Winter so not many climbers, especially beginners)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Judging from the lack of lava and seeing as there were no warning signs, it seems to be that the eruption was caused by a buildup of gas. That YouTube video of the eruption though, I would have been scared shitless, the guy that took that video was either very brave or very stupid.

1 ( +1 / -1 )

A lot of volcanos are active but still open to climbers. Mt. Usu is a good example of recent and pretty impressive activity (one of it's recent eruptions caused the formation of a new mountain). There's even smoke coming out but that doesn't always mean it's about to erupt. Still, when you see the ash coming, you put the camera down and you try to get out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can't outrun a pyroplastic blast that close. Imagine O2's gotta be at premium. Hope everyone makes it out safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whoat?!

I have just learned about this from JT news. My heart goes out to these who are injured and trapped. The rescue is on the way. Hung in there, and everything is going to be alright :) Gambatte!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think that they should change the word "山" (mountain) with the word "火山" (volcano) on the maps. I mean, if somebody invites me to climb on Mount Ontake, I say yes ! But if they ask me to go climbing on Volcano Ontake, I definitely say NO !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This one showed me a new fact about volcanoes. There were NO seismic events shown on the USGS Quake sheet, before or after the event. So, this one managed to blow its top with no warning. Compare to Iceland where their volcano has dozens of shocks each week. See the drudgereport for access.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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