Fresh eruptions from Japan's Mount Ontake volcano halt rescue ops

As warned by the Japan Meteorological Agency, fresh eruptions were reported from Mount Ontake volcano, leading to suspension of rescue operations on Tuesday.

Tokyo: As warned by the Japan Meteorological Agency, fresh eruptions were reported from Mount Ontake volcano, leading to suspension of rescue operations on Tuesday.

At least 24 bodies are said to be still on the mountain.

The fresh eruption comes three days after 36 people were killed in the volcanic eruption on Sep 27.

According to the BBC, the volcano was reportedly shooting out even more ash, smoke and rocks than before.

"Both ground and air rescue operations have been called off today," AFP quoted an official of Nagano Prefecture`s crisis-management office after vulcanologists reported increasingly violent tremors at the site.

Yesterday, Japanese soldiers managed to bring down eight more bodies by helicopter from the ash-blanketed peak of a still-erupting volcano, before toxic gases and ash forced them to suspend the recovery effort in the early afternoon.

Scenes broadcast live on Japanese TV station TBS showed soldiers carrying yellow body bags one-by-one to a camouflage military helicopter that had landed in a relatively wide-open area of the now bleak landscape, its rotors still spinning.

Saturday's eruption was the first fatal one in modern times at Mount Ontake, a popular climbing destination 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Tokyo on the main Japanese island of Honshu. A similar eruption occurred in 1979, but no one died.

With Agency Inputs

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