It was a perfect fall weekend, with sunny skies and the prospect of colorful autumn foliage. Hundreds of people flocked to Mt. Ontake in central Japan, planning to hike to its volcanic summit.
Japan’s Mount Ontake Erupted Suddenly Over the Weekend
Over the weekend, the Mount Ontake volcano—a popular hiking spot in Japan—erupted without warning, killing at least 36 people. The eruption sent billowing clouds of hot gas and ash streaming down the hillside; some scientists are speculating that this was a “phreatic eruption,” triggered when water and magma mix deep underground.