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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Most Hikers Killed On Japanese Volcano By Rocks

Of the now realized 47 hikers atop Mount Ontake when it erupted suddenly last Saturday, most died from being hit by rocks flying out of the volcano.
In fact, all but one of the victims show signs of having been hit by the volcanic boulders, with one person dying from inhaling the extremely hot air.

Most of the bodies were found near Mount Ontake’s summit, where many climbers were resting or having lunch after checking out the autumn leaves.

Some bodies were retrieved from a trail at a slightly lower elevation.

Those at the summit are said to have been hit by rocks and boulders flying at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour (186.4 mph).

Of the other 70 people injured fleeing from the eruption. most had bruises, cuts and bone fractures on their back, an apparent sign they were hit by rocks flying out of the volcano.

Mount Ontake is one of 47 active volcanoes in Japan being monitored. It is located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Nagoya, or, if you prefer, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Tokyo. It is Japan's second-highest volcano, after Mount Fuji.

Along with there being 47 prefectures in Japan, and it being my favorite number, it's all just a weird coincidence.

There may be more dead, however, as a suspected additional 20 people are still missing, but bad weather and still escaping toxic gases from the volcano halted the search for the time being.

The 47 confirmed deaths is the highest death toll in postwar Japan, passing the 43 killed during the 1991 eruption of Mount Unzen near the city of Shimabara in Nagasaki-ken.

Andrew Joseph

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