Japanese officials announced the death toll on Tuesday, after rescue workers found five more bodies.
SHAFAQNA- The death toll from the volcanic eruption in central Japan’s Mount Ontake has reached 36, as fears of a fresh eruption forces rescue teams to halt their operations.
The announcement was made about 72 hours after the eruption, which left about 60 others injured.
An unnamed crisis management official at the Nagano prefectural government said that rescue workers were on standby “while being prepared to evacuate in any emergency.”
The spokesman also said that volcanic tremors had repeatedly been detected since Saturday, with underground boiling water breaking and moving rocks.
The official added “the shakes have became bigger (since early Tuesday), prompting worries over possible secondary casualties” in case of a fresh eruption.
More than 1,100 soldiers and firefighters were set to be deployed near the peak of Mount Ontake as part of the search and rescue mission on Tuesday.
Rescue workers have managed to airlift only 12 bodies so far since Saturday.
It remains unclear, however, how the victims have died, with possible factors cited as toxic gases, suffocating ash, and falling rocks, among other possible causes.
Mount Ontake erupted around noon on Saturday, spewing gas, rocks, and ash into the sky, while at least 250 hikers were reportedly enjoying a fall season hiking venture.
Source: Press TV