Recovery of bodies underway at Japanese volcano

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Recovery of bodies underway at Japanese volcano
A volcano in southern Japan is spewing volcanic magma rocks. A regional weather observatory says this could be Mt. Aso's first magma eruption in 22 years. (Nov. 28)
#mountaso #volcano http://t.co/gGJX1V096G
In this Nov. 26, 2014 photo, volcanic smoke billows from Mount Aso, Kumamoto prefecture, on the southern Japanese main island of Kyushu. The volcano is blasting out chunks of magma in the first such eruption in 22 years, causing flight cancellations and prompting warnings to stay away from its crater. The Japan Meteorological Agency said Friday, Nov. 28 that Mount Aso had spewed out lava debris and smoke, shooting plumes of ash a kilometer (3,280 feet) into the sky. The observatory does not expect the eruption to increase in scale. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
There is a new video on my channel, if interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4jx23phNH0 The eruption is Aso’s first in 19 years and comes two months after Mount Ontake in Nagano killed more than 60 hikers when it erupted without warning. Last month, experts warned that a disaster on Kyushu island, which has been struck by seven massive eruptions over the past 120,000 years, could see an area that is home to 7 million people buried by molten rock in just two hours. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141126_37.html http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/27/national/mount-aso-volcano-belches-smoke-ash/#.VHbOhIvF-So [Multiple Videos]: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/fnn?a=20141127-00000574-fnn-soci http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/fnn?a=20141127-00000587-fnn-soci http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/jnn?a=20141127-00000028-jnn-soci http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/ann?a=20141127-00000009-ann-soci http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201411270066
阿蘇山噴火しよるば〜い http://t.co/sqAfrHUWpb
Somewhere behind that cloud of ash is #MountAso, the largest active volcano in Japan. Today, she's VERY active. #ttot http://t.co/VMmfOGUkPT
夜の阿蘇山 http://t.co/0WAXhbMvCc
阿蘇山やばいね これ拾い画だけど http://t.co/i3VX45yOsu
Tuesday's eruption at Mount Aso, southern Japan, sent column of smoke rising 1,000 meters into sky. via @NHK, @Asahi http://t.co/PxILhfLL9N
This aerial picture taken on September 28, 2014 shows rescue workers and Self Defence Force soldiers searching for missing climbers and survivors among ash covered mountain cottages on the top of Mount Ontake at Nagano prefecture, one day after Japan's volcano Ontake erupted in central Japan, which straddling Nagano and Gifu prefecture. Rescuers rushed to help dozens of hikers stranded on an erupting volcano in central Japan with six people believed to be buried under ash and dozens injured. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
A defence force helicopter carrying rescue workers heads for the top of Mount Ontake during a search operation on October 1, 2014 following a September 27 volcanic eruption near Otaki village in Nagano prefecture. Seven more bodies have been found by rescuers combing the peak of a volcano that erupted at the weekend, Japanese state broadcaster NHK reported on October 1. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS ==JAPAN OUT== (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers board a defense force helicopter heading for the top of Mount Ontake during a search operation on October 1, 2014 following a September 27 volcanic eruption near Otaki village in Nagano prefecture. Seven more bodies have been found by rescuers combing the peak of a volcano that erupted at the weekend, Japanese state broadcaster NHK reported on October 1. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS ==JAPAN OUT== (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers board on a defense forces helicopter heading for the top of Mount Ontake for a search and rescue operation following the September 27 volcanic eruption at the Otaki village in Nagano prefecture on October 1, 2014. Rescue operation on a Japanese volcano resumed a day after a halt due to fears over a fresh eruption, with 13 bodies still on the mountain and fears dozens more people may be missing, officails and media said. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS ==JAPAN OUT== (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
A military helicopter leaves a temporary landing site for a resque mission on Mount Ontake in Otaki, Nagano prefecture on September 29, 2014. Japanese rescuers Spetember 29 resumed a grim operation to recover more bodies after 31 people were believed killed in a volcanic eruption, as survivors told of seeing hikers die when tonnes of ash and rocks thundered from the sky. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 28: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) In this aerial image, Mt. Ontake is seen spewing volcanic ash on September 28, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption of Mt. Ontake killed at least 31 people and about 500 police officers and self-defence forces members are involved in rescue operation. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 28: In this aerial image, climbers are seen going down Mt. Ontake with a helmet on on September 28, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption of Mt. Ontake killed at least 31 people and about 500 police officers and self-defence forces members are involved in rescue operation. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 28: Rescue workers load a injured hiker into a rescue helicopter at Kiso hospital on September 28, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption of Mt. Ontake injured at least 32 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images)
A vehicle (back) loaded with dead bodies, that were retrieved by helicopter from the summit of the Mount Ontake, leaves a park in Otaki village, Nagano prefecture on September 29, 2014. Firefighters, police and troops resumed search operations on a volcano in central Japan after four confirmed fatalities with at least 27 other people feared dead. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
A police helicopter carries an injured climber as climbers come down from Mount Ontake at Gero city in Gifu prefecture on September 28, 2014, one day after Japan's volcano Ontake erupted in central Japan, which straddling Nagano and Gifu prefecture. Rescuers rushed to help dozens of hikers stranded on an erupting volcano in central Japan with six people believed to be buried under ash and dozens injured. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
A vehicle loaded with dead bodies, that were retrieved by helicopter from the summit of the Mount Ontake, leaves a park in Otaki village, Nagano prefecture on September 29, 2014. Firefighters, police and troops resumed search operations on a volcano in central Japan after four confirmed fatalities with at least 27 other people feared dead. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
A vehicle (back) loaded with dead bodies, that were retrieved by helicopter from the summit of the Mount Ontake, leaves a park in Otaki village, Nagano prefecture on September 29, 2014. Firefighters, police and troops resumed search operations on a volcano in central Japan after four confirmed fatalities with at least 27 other people feared dead. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Map locates Mount Ontake, Japan.
This TV picture released by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Chubu Regional Development Bureau on September 27, 2014 shows the eruption of the Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 27, 2014. the volcano erupted in central Japan, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Mt. Ontake spews volcanic ash on September 27, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption injured 8 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Volcanic ash covers a mountain lodge as Mt. Ontake erupts on September 27, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption injured 8 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Mt. Ontake spews volcanic ash on September 27, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption injured 8 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Volcanic ash covers a mountain lodge as Mt. Ontake erupts on September 27, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption injured 8 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Mt. Ontake spews volcanic ash on September 27, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption injured 8 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
A manager of Japan Meteorological Agency speaks during a press conference to explain the eruption of Mount Ontake, in Tokyo on September 27, 2014. A volcano erupted in central Japan, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Dense fumes are spewed out from several spots on the slope of Mt. Ontake as the volcano erupts in central Japan Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Mt. Ontake erupted Saturday, sending a large plume of ash high into the sky and prompting a warning to climbers and others to avoid the area. Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing local authorities, said there were reports of injuries, but no word on their severity. It also reported that people had been evacuated from a mountain lodge. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Toshihiko Kawaguchi)
Plumes of smoke and ash billow from Mount Ontake in central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Mount Ontake erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. Rescue workers on Sunday found more than 30 people unconscious and believed to be dead near the peak of an erupting volcano, a Japanese police official said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Smoke billows from Mount Ontake observed from Otaki Village, Nagano prefecture, central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Rescue workers found 30 or more people unconscious and believed to be dead near the peak of the erupting volcano, local government and police said. Nagano prefecture posted on its website that about 30 people had heart and lung failure, the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
plumes of smoke billow near a cabin on Mount Ontake in central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Mount Ontake erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. Rescue workers on Sunday found more than 30 people unconscious and believed to be dead near the peak of an erupting volcano, a Japanese police official said. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
A tank of Japan's Ground Self Defence Force enters the area around Mount Ontake in support for searching missing climbers and survivors at Otaki village in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014, one day after Japan's volcano Ontake erupted in central Japan, which straddling Nagano and Gifu prefecture. Rescuers rushed to help dozens of hikers stranded on an erupting volcano in central Japan with six people believed to be buried under ash and dozens injured. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Two tanks of Japan's Ground Self Defence Force enter the area around Mount Ontake in support for searching missing climbers and survivors at Otaki village in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014, one day after Japan's volcano Ontake erupted in central Japan, which straddling Nagano and Gifu prefecture. Rescuers rushed to help dozens of hikers stranded on an erupting volcano in central Japan with six people believed to be buried under ash and dozens injured. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
A military vehicle prepares to head to rescue climbers on Mount Ontake, background, in Otaki Village, Nagano prefecture in central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Mount Ontake erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. Rescue workers on Sunday found more than 30 people unconscious and believed to be dead near the peak of an erupting volcano, a Japanese police official said. The white sign on the vehicle reads " Disaster relief mission." (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
Otaki Village firefighters control access to a road leading to Mount Ontake, background, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in Otaki Village, Nagano prefecture, Japan. Mount Ontake erupted shortly before noon Saturday, spewing large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. Rescue workers have found 30 or more people unconscious and believed to be dead near the peak of an erupting volcano in central Japan, local government and police said. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
Firefighters walk down a road headed away from Mount Ontake, background right, as it continues to erupt Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in Otaki Village, Nagano prefecture, Japan. Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted shortly before noon Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and injuring at least 34, including 12 seriously, according to Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The tally was lower than reported by local officials earlier, but the disaster agency warned that the numbers could still change. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
Firefighters from various prefectures walk on a road leading to Mount Ontake as they prepare to aid in the rescue efforts of those stranded and injured on the mountain, in Otaki Village, Nagano prefecture, Japan. Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted shortly before noon Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and injuring at least 34, including 12 seriously, according to Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The tally was lower than reported by local officials earlier, but the disaster agency warned that the numbers could still change. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
Plumes of smoke and ash billow from Mount Ontake as it continues to erupt in Otaki village, in Nagano prefecture, Japan, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. A Japanese military helicopter rescued three people Sunday morning from the spectacular volcanic eruption that sent officials scrambling to reach many more injured and stranded on the mountain. Mount Ontake in central Japan erupted shortly before noon Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and injuring at least 34, including 12 seriously, according to Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The tally was lower than reported by local officials earlier, but the disaster agency warned that the numbers could still change. (AP Photo/Koji Ueda)
This aerial picture taken on September 28, 2014 shows rescue workers and Self Defence Force soldiers searching for missing climbers and survivors among ash covered mountain cottages on the top of Mount Ontake at Nagano prefecture, one day after Japan's volcano Ontake erupted in central Japan, which straddling Nagano and Gifu prefecture. Rescuers rushed to help dozens of hikers stranded on an erupting volcano in central Japan with six people believed to be buried under ash and dozens injured. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
This aerial picture taken on September 28, 2014 shows rescue workers and Self Defence Force soldiers searching for missing climbers and survivors among ash covered mountain cottages on the top of Mount Ontake at Nagano prefecture, one day after Japan's volcano Ontake erupted in central Japan, which straddling Nagano and Gifu prefecture. Rescuers rushed to help dozens of hikers stranded on an erupting volcano in central Japan with six people believed to be buried under ash and dozens injured. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
This aerial picture taken on September 28, 2014 shows rescue workers and Self Defence Force soldiers searching for missing climbers and survivors among ash covered mountain cottages and a Shinto shrine (above) on the top of Mount Ontake at Nagano prefecture, one day after Japan's volcano Ontake erupted in central Japan, which straddling Nagano and Gifu prefecture. Rescuers rushed to help dozens of hikers stranded on an erupting volcano in central Japan with six people believed to be buried under ash and dozens injured. (JIJI/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows a smoke rising from Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows a smoke rising from Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows a smoke rising from Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Volcanic ash covers a mountain lodge as Mt. Ontake erupts on September 27, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption injured 8 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
OTAKI, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27: Volcanic ash covers a mountain lodge as Mt. Ontake erupts on September 27, 2014 in Otaki, Japan. The eruption injured 8 people, and more than 250 hikers are still left stranded near the peak. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
This picture shows a smoke rising from Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows a smoke rising from Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Fire department vehicles enter a road leading to the mountain trail of Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows smoke rising from Mount Ontake and the hills covered with volcanic ash in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows a smoke rising from Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture shows a smoke rising from Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Fire department vehicles enter a road leading to the mountain trail of Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Photographers gather at the foot of the Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture on September 28, 2014. The volcano erupted in central Japan on September 27, shooting ash and rocks into the air that reportedly left eight hikers injured and forced 150 people to shelter in cabins near the summit. The eruption of the 3,067-metre (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake happened around midday, the meteorological agency said. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo released by Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory, volcanic smoke billows from Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima, on the southern Japanese main island of Kyushu Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013. Kyodo reported that it erupted Sunday evening, marking the 500th eruption this year at the 1,117 meters (3,686 foot) high mountain, which is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. There is no immediate reports of injuries. (AP Photo/Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory) CREDIT MANDATORY
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KISO, Japan (AP) - Military and other rescue workers began airlifting more than two dozen bodies from the ash-blanketed peak of a Japanese volcano on Monday morning, as family members of the missing waited at a nearby elementary school.

At least 31 people are believed to have died. Four victims were flown down Sunday, and rescuers returned to 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mt. Ontake on Monday morning to recover the remaining 27. Exactly how they died remains unclear, whether from toxic gases, suffocating ash, falling rocks or other causes.

Scenes broadcast live on Japanese TV station TBS showed soldiers carrying yellow body bags one-by-one to a camouflage military helicopter that had landed in a relatively wide-open area of the now bleak landscape, its rotors still spinning.

The first bodies were flown to a nearby athletic field, its green grass and surrounding forested hills contrasting with Mt. Ontake's ash-gray peak in the background, a reduced plume still emerging from its crater.

There, they were transferred to white police vans, while two dozen officers struggled to hold up long blue tarps under the spinning rotors, blocking the view from the media.

The four brought down Sunday have been confirmed dead, said Takehiko Furukoshi, a Nagano prefecture crisis-management official.

The 27 others are listed as having heart and lung failure, the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it.

Saturday's eruption was the first fatal one in modern times at Mount Ontake, a popular climbing destination 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Tokyo on the main Japanese island of Honshu. A similar eruption occurred in 1979, but no one died.

Japanese media reported that some of the bodies were found in a lodge near the summit and that others were buried in ash up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) deep. Police said only two of the four confirmed dead had been identified. Both were men, ages 23 and 45.

Mount Ontake erupted shortly before noon at perhaps the worst possible time, with at least 250 people taking advantage of a beautiful fall Saturday to go for a hike. The blast spewed large white plumes of gas and ash high into the sky, blotted out the midday sun and blanketed the surrounding area in ash.

Hundreds were initially trapped on the slopes, though most made their way down by Saturday night.

About 40 people who were stranded overnight came down on Sunday. Many were injured, and some had to be rescued by helicopters or carried down on stretchers. By nightfall, all the injured had been brought down, officials said.

Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency tallied 40 injured people, three seriously, and said it was trying to update the number still missing.

Furukoshi said rescuers gave priority to helping the survivors come down, leaving behind those who were obviously without hope.

Survivors told Japanese media that they were pelted by rocks. One man said he and others went into the basement of a lodge, fearing that the rocks would penetrate the roof. He covered himself with a futon, a thin Japanese mattress, for protection.

"Even small eruptions can cause major damage if people are around, as they get hit by rocks that come flying," Nagoya University volcanologist Koshun Yamaoka said at a news conference Sunday.

Volcanoes can also kill by spewing toxic gases and lung-choking ash.

Shinichi Shimohara, who works at a shrine at the foot of the mountain, said he was on his way up Saturday morning when he heard a loud noise that sounded like strong winds followed by "thunder" as the volcano erupted.

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