Death toll from Japanese volcano could still rise

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Death toll from Japanese volcano could still rise

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In Japan the search is continuing for people still missing after the country’s most deadly volcanic eruption for nearly a century.

Mount Ontake erupted six days ago and so far 47 people are known to have died.

A government spokesman said that figure may still rise as officials confirm the status of missing people. Japanese media report that local authorities believe at least another 24 people are unaccounted for.

It is thought many hikers failed to register their names before climbing the mountain.

1400 people are involved in the rescue and recovery operation, which has been hampered at times by rain and the associated risk of landslides.

Survivors say there was no warning of the eruption of Mount Ontake. 200km west of Tokyo, it is Japan’s second-highest active volcano. Its last major eruption was in 1979.

Seismologists are warning that the seismic activity is ongoing and there could be further eruptions.