Search Suspended Again as Japan Volcano Eruption Intensifies

Search Suspended Again as Japan Volcano Eruption IntensifiesSearch Suspended Again as Japan Volcano Eruption Intensifies

Efforts to recover the bodies of at least 24 climbers have been suspended again after the eruption on Japan’s Mount Ontake intensified.

The volcano was shooting out even more ash, smoke and rocks than before, the BBC reported.

At least 36 people are thought to have died in Saturday’s unexpected eruption.

Dozens of other people were injured in the incident on the mountain, which is about 200km (125 miles) west of Tokyo.

Hundreds of firefighters, police and troops have been involved in search operations.Twelve bodies have been recovered so far. Another 24 are reported to be on the mountain, including five more located on Monday.Japanese authorities only declare fatalities once the body has been examined by a doctor.

Some of the bodies were found in a lodge near the summit and others were buried in ash up to 50cm (20in) deep, Japanese media reported.

 Another Explosion Looming

There was a great increase in the amount of material and gas being ejected on Tuesday.

An official from Japan’s meteorological agency said volcanic tremors in the area could mean that another explosion was on the way.

“The strength of the tremors increased late last night, diminished and then rose again early this morning. There’s the chance things could get even worse, so caution is needed,” Yasuhide Hasegawa told Reuters news agency.

“This points to possibly increasing pressure due to steam inside the volcano, and if it exploded rocks could be thrown around, endangering rescuers,” he said.

Japan’s meteorological agency has warned that volcanic debris may settle within 4km (2.5 miles) of the peak.