Search and rescue operations are being carried out with difficulty on the 3.067m mountain, covered by a thick layer of ash and stones
Sixteen people, probably caught by the volcanic eruption of Mount Ontake (central Japan), are missing, six days after the catastrophe, local authorities announced on Friday morning, according to AFP.
The 16 hikers that went missing, who declared that they were climbing Mount Ontake before going to the volcano, and whose families never heard from them since that day, join the 47 people that died and were identified.
Search and rescue operations are being carried out with difficulty on the 3.067m mountain, covered by a thick layer of ash and stones, plus fumes, smoke and toxic gases emanating from several craters. The searches were suspended on Tuesday because of the risk of a new volcanic eruption, but resumed on Wednesday, discovering more bodies. On Thursday afternoon they were once again interrupted due to the unfavourable weather condition.
This estimate, which is likely to increase, makes this sudden volcanic eruption the worst of its kind in Japan since after the war.