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Smoke rises from Mount Ontake, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures September 27, 2014. (Reuters/Kyodo)

A volcano in central Japan has erupted, sending ash clouds down the mountains’ slope for more than 3 kilometers. At least eight people have been injured and aircraft have been forced to divert to avoid the dangerous area.

The Ontake volcano on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures, 200 kilometers west of Tokyo, started erupting at about [11:53] local time ([02:53] GMT), NHK reported, citing Japan’s Meteorological Agency.

NHK released a video showing the volcano spewing thick, gray smoke into the air.

More than 250 people were left stranded near the top of the volcano, police told NHK, adding that one hiker was rescued after being buried in ash near the volcano. He remains unconscious.

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Smoke rises from Mount Ontake, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures September 27, 2014. (Reuters/Kyodo)

“Seven people were slightly injured and one person suffered serious injuries as a result of the eruption,” Makoto Hasegawa of the Nagano prefecture fire department told Reuters.

“Airplanes are diverting their flying routes to avoid the ash cloud,” he added.

Read more at RT News

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