Jan. 23 (UPI) — A volcanic eruption may have triggered an avalanche at a ski resort north of Tokyo in Gunma Prefecture on Tuesday, leaving at least 10 people injured.
Several people were hit by volcanic rocks raining down from the sky and others sustained injuries when they were trapped in the snow. One person was reported missing but was eventually found alive and rescued from the snow, Japan Today reported.
Six of the injured persons were members of Japan’s Ground Self Defense Force. They were engaged in winter training when the volcanic eruption and avalanche occurred.
Officials said they have not yet determined if the volcanic eruption caused the avalanche, but they did happen simultaneously, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Based on various measurements, we can say that the mountain appears to have erupted, but we are still trying to confirm facts on the ground,” a Japanese Meteorological Agency official said.
The volcano, Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, erupted at 9:59 a.m., the Japan Times reported.
As black smoke filled the air and rocks fell from the sky,. Soon after the avalanche fell.
At one point, the resort lost power and skiers were stuck in gondolas for approximately 30 minutes, Japan Today reported.