Mt. Ontake

Mt. Ontake erupts, sending a huge ash cloud down on hikers scrambling to get down the mountain. Photo is a screen grab from Kuroda Terutoshi’s video

Japanese hiker Kuroda Terutoshi captured dramatic video of the moments just after Mt. Ontake erupted Saturday in a volcanic disaster that reportedly killed at least 36 and injured another 63, according to ABC News.

Terutoshi posted a vertical video showing a huge ash cloud that would soon envelop him and other hikers as they scrambled down Mt. Ontake, a popular Japanese hiking destination 130 miles west of Tokyo.

Terutoshi's original video, which has generated 7.1 million views on YouTube, was reworked into this widescreen version:

CNN reported that there were 200 to 250 hikers in the area at the time of the eruption with most of them managing to make the long trek off the mountain.

"It was like thunder," a woman who runs a lodge near the 10,120-foot summit of Mt. Ontake told NHK of Japan, according to the BBC. "I heard, boom, boom, then everything went dark."

Another climber told the BBC she barely escaped with her life.

"Immediately after I watched the eruption, I rushed away, but I was soon covered with ash," the climber said.

More than 350 rescue workers began climbing two separate routes up the mountain Sunday. Here's more from CNN:

Among the climbers trapped in the cottages, at least 11 were injured, officials in Otaki said. They said they had observed 17 to 20 inches of volcanic ash covering the ground in some areas.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has raised the Volcanic Alert Level for Ontake from 1 to 3. That means the public is advised to not approach the volcano, the summit of which is at an altitude of 10,060 feet (3,067 meters).

The agency warned that another large eruption could take place in the next six days or so. Small continuous eruptions continued Sunday.

The volcano’s plume of smoke and ash was reported to have disrupted air travel in Japan, causing delays at several airports.

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