TOKYO, October 3. /TASS/. At least 16 people are missing after the volcano eruption in central Japan. Volcano Ontake began erupting last Saturday.
The information about missing people is based on the official list of people who were on the volcano slopes at the time. But some tourists do not inform local authorities about their intention to climb the volcano, so there may be more missing people. Twenty cars remained in a parking lot at the foot of the volcano, and rescuers have not found owners of the cars yet.
Russia's Embassy in Tokyo said last Monday there were no reports that Russians were present on the Ontake volcano when it began erupting.
Japan’s second-highest mount after Fuji, a popular spot among locals and foreign tourists, began erupting on Saturday when hundreds of visitors were climbing at the spot, 200km west of Tokyo.
Most visitors descended the 3,067m slopes but scores were trapped due to poor visibility and toxic gases. Most of these were rescued. More than 60 people needed medical care and more than 40 were hospitalized.
By this Friday, the authorities have officially confirmed that 48 people died of gas poisoning or in volcanic rock falls. About 70 people were injured.
Ontake last erupted in 2007. In a powerful eruption in 1979, the giant released more than 200,000 tons of ash.