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BBC News – Japan volcano: Search suspended as toll rises | #BBCNews #Japan #MountOntake #Volcano

Survivors filmed the eruption at close quarters and described volcanic rock falling “like hailstones”, as Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports

Rescue teams searching Japan’s Mount Ontake for missing climbers suspended operations as the volcano continued to shoot gas, rocks and ash into the air.

At least 36 people are believed to have died when Mt Ontake erupted unexpectedly on Saturday.

Hundreds of hikers were on the volcano when it erupted. Most walked down to safety but others were trapped.

Dozens of people were injured in the incident on the mountain, which is about 200km (125 miles) west of Tokyo.

Mount Ontake eruption

Early on Monday helicopters began searching, as smoke rose from the peak.

Hundreds of firefighters, police and troops were involved in the operation, which later had to be halted because of the adverse conditions.

Twelve bodies have been recovered so far. Another 24 are reported to be on the mountain, after five more were located during the course of the day.

Monday's search centred on a mountain lodge on Mount OntakeMonday’s search centred on a mountain lodge on Mount Ontake.Eventually toxic gases and ash forced the search teams to suspend their operationEventually toxic gases and ash forced the search teams to suspend their operation.

Some of the bodies were found in a lodge near the summit and others were buried in ash up to 50cm (20in) deep, Japanese media reported.

Hikers who made it down the mountain told how a rolling cloud of volcanic debris had swept down its flanks, smothering everything in its path.

“Some people were buried in ash up to their knees and the two in front of me seemed to be dead,” a woman hiker told the broadcaster Asahi.

The bodies of some of the victims were brought down from the volcano on SundayThe bodies of some of the victims were brought down from the volcano on Sunday.The volcano erupted unexpectedly on Saturday leaving many hikers trappedThe volcano erupted unexpectedly on Saturday leaving many hikers trapped.

Another told how she had heard the last moments of a victim hit by a cascade of rocks.

“There was someone lying outside the hut after being hit in the back,” she said.

“He was saying ‘It hurts, it hurts’, but after about half an hour he went quiet.”

Another survivor told the Yomiuri newspaper he had seen a boy shouting “It’s hot” and “I can’t breathe” near the peak, before ash clouds turned everything black and silent.

Relatives of those still missing are facing an anxious wait for news at a nearby elementary school.

One tearful father clutched a photograph of his son and the young man’s girlfriend, neither of whom have been heard of since the eruption.

An elderly woman told the Asahi network that her son had called her just after the eruption.

“He told me it erupted. He said ‘It’s over. I’m dying now’ and then the line was cut off,” she said.

Japan’s meteorological agency has forecast further eruptions and warned that volcanic debris may settle within 4km (2.5 miles) of the peak.

BBC News.

Mount Ontake Volcano erupts in Japan; 7 missing, 40 injured | #Japan #VolcanoErupts

Buildings of a mountain lodge near the summit crater are totally covered by ash spewed out by Mt. Ontake as the volcano erupts in central Japan Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.Buildings of a mountain lodge near the summit crater are totally covered by ash spewed out by 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. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

TOKYO (AP) — A volcano in central Japan erupted in spectacular fashion on Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and injuring at least 40 people who were stranded in areas that rescue workers have been unable to reach. Another seven people were missing.

The injured were in mountain lodges, because they were unable to descend 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mount Ontake on their own, said Sohei Hanamura, a crisis management official in Nagano prefecture. Thirty-two people had serious injuries, including at least seven who lost consciousness.

Police, fire and military rescue workers were trying to approach the area on foot, after deciding that the ash in the air made it too dangerous to use helicopters. The ash was also hampering their ascent.

Hanamura said seven people were reported missing on the mountain.

Lodge managers were familiar with first aid procedures and were communicating with rescue officials in town, he said.

With a sound likened to thunder, the volcano erupted shortly before noon on a clear autumn day, spewing large white plumes of ash high into the sky and sending people on the mountainside fleeing.

The eruption continued into the night, blanketing the surrounding area in ash. About 250 people were initially trapped on the slopes, but most had made their way down by Saturday night, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported. Some were in shelters set up in four nearby towns.

One witness told NHK that the eruption started with large booms that sounded like thunder.

In a YouTube video, shocked climbers can be seen moving quickly away from the peak as an expanding plume of ash emerges above and then engulfs them.

Many of those who made it down emerged with clothes and backpacks covered in ash. They reported being engulfed in total darkness for several minutes.

Mikio Oguro, an NHK journalist who was on the slope on an unrelated assignment, told the station that he saw massive smoke coming out of the crater, blocking sunlight and reducing visibility to zero.

“Massive ash suddenly fell and the entire area was totally covered with ash,” he said by phone. He and his crew had to use headlamps to find a lodge.

“My colleagues later told me that they thought they might die,” Oguro said.

Two Jetstar flights headed to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport diverted to Kansai International Airport in western Japan as a precaution.

Japan’s meteorological agency raised the alert level for Mount Ontake to 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. It warned people to stay away from the mountain, saying ash and other debris could fall up to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away.

Mount Ontake, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Tokyo, sits on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures, on the main Japanese island of Honshu. The volcano’s last major eruption was in 1979.

Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.

via Volcano erupts in Japan; 7 missing, 40 injured.

Mother of British teenage jihadi killed in Syria: ‘I pray for him’ | #Brighton #ISIS #Syria #IslamicStategroup

The mother of a British teenage jihadi killed in US-led airstrikes in Syria on Tuesday, says she never imagined her son would go to such lengths. Khadijah Kamara says her son Ibrahim used his brother’s passport to leave the UK.

The 19-year-old from Brighton travelled out to Syria last February after joining three others from Brighton to fight for Jabhat al-Nusra, an affiliate group of al-Qaida

Tony Abbott tells UN ISIS has ‘declared war on the world’ #TonyAbbott #ISIS

Australian prime minister says Islamic State extremists ‘aren’t fighting for God’ and are infatuated with death.

Daniel Hurst, political correspondent.
Prime minister Tony Abbott addressing the UN security council

Australia will not flinch in the campaign against terrorism, Tony Abbott has told the UN security council, as the government edges closer to joining the Iraq conflict and leaves the door open to action in Syria.

The prime minister said Islamic State (Isis) had effectively “declared war on the world” by declaring itself a caliphate.

But he told the meeting convened by the US president, Barack Obama, in New York that the world might be heading towards a “moral victory” with growing acceptance “that it can never be right to kill in the name of God”.

Obama said the resolution adopted by the security council required nations “to prevent and suppress the recruiting, organising, transporting or equipping of foreign terrorist fighters as well as the financing of their travel or activities”.

In a speech to the security council, Abbott referred to the shooting death of a person of interest to counter-terrorism police outside a Melbourne police station on Tuesday night, and last week’s large raids in Sydney.

“Last week, an Australian operative in Syria instructed his local network to conduct demonstration killings and this week an Australian terror suspect savagely attacked two policemen,” he said.

“Now, it’s hard to imagine that citizens of a pluralist democracy could have succumbed to such delusions yet clearly they have. The Australian government will be utterly unflinching towards anything that threatens our future as a free, fair and multicultural society, a beacon of hope and exemplar of unity in diversity.”

Abbott said thousands of misguided people from around the world were joining terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq “because they claim Islam is under threat and because they’re excited by the prospect of battle”.

“But whatever they think or say, these terrorists aren’t fighting for God or for religious faith. At the heart of every terrorist group is an infatuation with death. What else can explain the beheadings, crucifixions, mass execution, rapes and sexual slavery in every town and city that’s fallen to the terrorist movement now entrenched in eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

“A terrorist movement calling itself Islamic State insults Islam and it mocks the duties of a legitimate state towards its citizens. And to use this term is to dignify a death cult, a death cult that in declaring itself a caliphate has declared war on the world.”

Abbott said more than 60 Australians were believed to be fighting with Isis and Al-Nusra and “more than 60 Australians have had their passports suspended to prevent them from joining terrorist groups in the Middle East”.

He referred to the biggest overhaul of Australia’s counter-terrorism laws in a decade by saying the government was acting “to ensure that foreign fighters returning home can be arrested, prosecuted and jailed for a very long time indeed”.

“But we aren’t just dealing with potential terrorists at home, we are tackling their inspiration abroad,” Abbott said. “Our combat aircraft and special forces are now in the Middle East preparing to join the international coalition to disrupt and degrade [Isis] at the request of the Iraqi government.”

Abbott praised Obama for showing leadership in assembling a broad coalition, and said the participation of Middle Eastern countries in US-led air strikes in Syria was “the clearest possible demonstration that the west can’t solve this problem alone and won’t have to”.

“Our goal is not to change people but to protect them,” Abbott said. “It’s not to change governments, but to combat terrorism. Governments that don’t commit genocide against their own people, nor permit terrorism against ours – that is all we seek.”

Abbott said there were grounds for hope because the Isis horror had “generated all but universal revulsion” including condemnation from Muslim leaders.

“Perhaps the realisation is now dawning for all peoples, all cultures and all faiths that it can never be right to kill in the name of God and that would be a moral victory far surpassing any military success,” he said.

Australia has sent to the Middle East about 600 Australian defence force (ADF) members in anticipation of an imminent decision to participate in action against Isis in Iraq.

The expected commitment includes use of Australian Super Hornet combat aircraft against Isis targets in Iraq. Armed Australian military advisers would be sent into the headquarters of Iraqi and Kurdish security forces to help them with planning.

In a media conference after the UN meeting, Abbott left the door open to Australian participation in air strikes in Syria.

Abbott pointed to the participation of five Middle Eastern countries in air strikes in Syria, “which have been justified as I understand it on the doctrine of collective self-defence”.

“We are carefully considering the situation,” he said, without ruling out escalation of Australian involvement in the Middle Eastern conflicts.

“We have no intention at this point of seeking to enter into combat operations in Syria. We have no intention of independent combat operations on the ground in Iraq. We are prepared to be helpful.”

Asked about the willingness of Australians to support combat troops on the ground in Iraq, Abbott said: “There’s no doubt that the difficulties of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath do cast a long shadow, rightly so. We should be very slow to reach out to conflicts thousands of miles away. This is very different from 2003. For one thing, this conflict for month has been reaching out to us. That’s why it’s important we do what we can at home and abroad to keep our people safe.”

The Guardian.

#Putin calls meeting to discuss switching off #internet in #Russia

The Kremlin is considering unplugging Russia from the global Internet. 1 Russian authorities say the extreme measure would only be taken in the event of military conflict or during “foreign-sponsored protests.” Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has in the past called the internet a special CIA project, has called a meeting of his security council for Monday to discuss the proposal.

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  1. Basically isolating russian citizens from the outside world and news networks.