One dead and several injured after a volcanic eruption in Japan

Ⓒ OFICINA DE KUSATSU/AFP – Handout – | The Kusatsu Shirane volcano, in Japan, erupting on January 23, 2018

A soldier died Tuesday after the eruption of a volcano that triggered an avalanche near a ski resort northwest of Tokyo, the Ministry of Defense of Japan announced.

“One of the six members of the Self-Defense Forces died after being dragged by an avalanche,” a defense ministry spokesman told AFP, which had previously reported six wounded soldiers participating in training in the area.

In addition to the military, another ten people were injured, of which five were seriously injured, according to the fire department.

Another 100 people were evacuated, according to public television NHK.

Local authorities reported that 78 people had been blocked in the cabins of the cable car, which was stopped due to a power outage.

“The cabin he was traveling in came to a halt, the window broke, I was scared, one of the cabins in front was covered in ash, and I realized it was an eruption,” a skier said on television. .

“About 45 minutes later all the cabins had reached the top,” he said.

The Japanese meteorological agency asked the inhabitants of the area not to approach Mount Kusatsu Shirane after having detected “a slight volcanic activity”.

A head of that agency, Makoto Saito, confirmed that an eruption occurred and reported the risk of other avalanches and projections of ash and rocks.

Among the injured, four people who were on a cable car in a ski resort in Gunma, northwest of Tokyo, were cut with broken glass, said Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga.

In a first report, the Ministry of Defense had reported that six soldiers had been injured but that their lives were not in danger.

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