A sudden eruption took place at Kusatsu-Shirane volcano (Kusatsu-Shiranesan) in Japan early Tuesday, January 23, 2018, causing an avalanche that left one member of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) dead and 6 injured. At least 11 people were injured by falling volcanic rocks. It was the first eruption of this volcano since 1983. The volcano, located near a ski resort in Gunma prefecture, erupted at 01:59 UTC on Tuesday (09:59 local time), spawning an avalanche that buried 6 soldiers and killed one, officials said. All 7 were transported to a hospital where one was later confirmed dead. SDF said at the time that the

soldiers were training in the area when the volcano erupted and that they are trying to rescue about 80 people who were visiting the ski resort and evacuated to a ropeway station at the peak. Falling volcanic rocks injured 11 people, local police said. At least 5 of them were injured after the stones hit a gondola lift, shattering its windows. The injured were treated at a rest house. Observations by the Tokyo Institute of Technology have confirmed volcanic rocks about 1 km (0.62 miles) from the crater near Kagamiike pond, on Motoshirane peak. Some of the stones appeared to be 10 – 20 cm (3.9 – 7.8 inches) in size. READ MORE