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Japan's Mount Ontake Volcano Continues To Erupt Violently Hindering Rescue Efforts

30/09/2014 19:57 BST | Updated 30/09/2014 19:59 BST

Attempts to find the remaining bodies of those believed trapped or dead on Mount Ontake have been hindered as the volcano's eruption intensifies.

Mount Ontake, 200km (125 miles) west of Tokyo, erupted unexpectedly on Saturday afternoon. Around 250 hikers and locals were believed to have been on the mountain at the time. Many were able to reach the ground but suffered injuries due to the volcanic ash suffocating the air around them.

But a total of 24 people are still unaccounted for with only 12 bodies been recovered thus far, 5 of which were found this morning. The bodies that have been found were buried in ash up to 50m. The amount of material is due to increase greatly as the eruption continues, making the search for bodies even harder.

Experts believe that there is likely to be another, larger explosion in less than a week as tremors are continuously increasing and decreasing. The Japanese Meteorological Agency have risen the volcano alert level from 1 to 3.

The Japanese are no strangers to volcanic eruptions. It is one of the world's most seismically active nations with around 109 volcanoes at different states of activity.

Mount Ontake last erupted in 1979 lasting months, spewing 200,000 tons of ash reported the news agency Kyodo.