Sep 27, 2014 3:47 AM

Volcano erupts in Japan, injuries reported

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) A volcano erupted in central Japan on Saturday, sending a large plume of ash high into the sky and prompting a warning to climbers and others to avoid the area.

Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing local authorities, said there were reports of injuries, but no word on their severity. It also reported that people had been evacuated from a mountain lodge.

Mt. Ontake erupted shortly before noon on a bright sunny morning. The 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) peak sits on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures on the spine of mountains that runs down Honshu, Japan's main island.

In a YouTube video shown on NHK, climbers can be seen moving quickly away from the peak as an expanding plume emerges above them.

Japan's meteorological agency raised the alert level for Mt. Ontake to three on a scale of one to five. It warned people to stay away from the mountain, saying debris could fall up to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away.


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