Rocks spat out by an erupting volcano rained down on skiers at a mountain resort in central Japan on Tuesday and one skier was missing following an avalanche that occurred shortly after the volcano exploded and engulfed almost a dozen skiers. The Ground Self-Defense Force says 6 were its personnel who were training in the area.
The Meteorological Agency says ground movements and large volcanic tremors were detected at Mount Kusatsu-Shirane at 9:59 AM.
According to The Japan Times, the eruption at Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture, occurred just before 10 a.m. local time.
The falling rocks kicked clouds of snow into the air and they made impact.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the country's most active volcano, Mount Mayon, belched lava and ash for a second day on Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of some 40,000 nearby villagers.
Local fire department official Yuji Shinohara also told AFP there were four injured, adding: "We are still trying to help them". "We began sending the injured to a hospital", he said.
Five people had broken bones, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Video footage from the top of the resort's gondola showed black rocks plummeting through the sky, followed by a curtain of black smoke.
"About 100 people have evacuated", he said.
However unconfirmed reports, including one from the BBC, indicate that at least one person could be missing in the wake of the eruption and avalanche.
The gondola has been stopped because of a power outage.
NHK said that eight of those stranded had already been rescued.
On September 27, 2014, Japan suffered its deadliest eruption in nearly 90 years when Mount Ontake, in central Nagano prefecture, burst unexpectedly to life.