Volcanic ashes covered the slopes of the ski resort in Kusatsu, Gunma prefecture. Five people had broken bones, but none of the injuries were life-threatening. Six of those trapped were members of Japan’s Ground Self Defense Force (SDF) engaged in training, the Defence Ministry said. A skier is missing yet Four people riding a gondola on the slopes were injured by broken glass, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference. The roof of a rest house at a ski resort in the area was also damaged by falling rocks, according to the official. About 80 skiers had been taking shelter there. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency warned that rocks could be thrown as far as 2 km from the peak.
Rescuers at the resort
The warning level for the peak was raised to 3, warning people not to climb the mountain. In Tokyo, the central government set up a liaison office at the Prime Minister’s Office. Mount Kusatsu-Shirane is one of 50 volcanic mountains continuously monitored by the Meteorological Agency.