Mt. Ontake, the 3067-meter volcano towering over the west side of the Kiso Valley, erupted around noon on Saturday 27-Sept. The mountain is popular for climbing, and all climbers have or are in the process of evacuating the mountain. According to the Nagano Prefecture Tourism Department, Mt. Ontake has been closed for climbing until further notice. Nearby Route 19, the main highway along the Kiso Valley, as well as the JR Chuo Line which also runs along the Kiso Valley, and the Chuo Expressway which runs one valley over, are all 0perating normally. The only area to be affected by the eruption is a 4km-radius cautionary zone that has been set up around Mt. Ontake for danger of falling ash. If/when the prefecture’s Tourism Dept. offers new information, the Go-Nagano blog will be updated accordingly.
UPDATE: As of Sunday 12-Oct, 2 weeks from the eruption, a total of 63 people have reportedly died or are unaccounted for due to the eruption. Minor earthquakes and volcanic gas plumes are continuing (0-1 earthquake in the last 24 hours, gas plume approx. 300 meters high drifting in an southwesterly direction.)
(Map showing the evacuation area at http://www.go-nagano.net/?p=963)
Mt. Ontake, the 4km-radius cautionary zone, and major sightseeing spots: