This is the moment a sunny Saturday morning on Mount Ontake suddenly turned deadly. The huge cloud of ash spuing from the mountain caught on camera by a Japanese documentary team.
Further up the mountain, this hiker caught the full horror as it unfolded on his phone camera. "This is really dangerous," he says. "This is really bad." He scrambles downwards, hoping to get to a shelter, but in seconds, the ash cloud is over him. You can hear the tiny bits of rock raining down. It's little wonder many survivors say they were convinced they were going to die.
"It was terrifying," this man says. "The rock was falling like hell stones. We covered our faces with anything we could find, but we still couldn't breathe or even open our eyes."
Meanwhile, on the top of the mountain, these screams are from a group trapped inside a hut. Ash billows outside the window. You can hear the thump—thump of rocks falling on the roof.
Morning revealed the extent of the destruction—the top of the mountain turned to a moonscape, buildings covered in a thick layer of ash. As rescuers finally arrived, they found at least 30 people lay dead in the ash field. The military managed to take some survivors off by helicopter. Others were carried on stretchers.
This evening, Mount Ontake is continuing to pour ash and steam into the sky. The question now is "Why was there no warnig?"
Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, BBC News, in Tokyo.
BBC 新聞 Rupert Wingfield-Hayes，在東京為您報導。