TOKYO, September 27 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Plyasunkova - The Mt. Ontake volcano, having erupted around Saturday afternoon in the central Japanese prefecture of Nagano, has canceled and changed the routes of a number of international flights, Japan's NHK reported Saturday.
Currently, the change in routes concerns only the flights between Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Australia's Gold Coast and Cairns airports. The air company Jetstar has also canceled four flights via these routes scheduled for September 27 and 28.
Volcanic activity near the mountain of Ontake, which is a popular touristic destination in fall, was registered around Saturday afternoon. Between 11:00 a.m. and 17:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. and 13:00 p.m. GMT), the meteorologists registered 313 volcanic earthquakes of which 240 occurred within the first two hours of the eruption.
A warning has been issued against the possibility of ash and rock fragments subsidence within a four-kilometer (2.5 miles) radius of the eruption. On a scale from 1 to 5, the chief meteorological agency of Japan has established the third level of danger, which posits a ban on any approach to the foot of the volcano and ascent of the mountain.
Medical establishments in Japan have received 70 requests for hospitalization of people since Mt. Ontake erupted. As Kyodo News reported citing official reports by the authorities of Nagano Prefecture, the condition of at least 32 people is regarded as serious, with seven of them lying unconscious. More than 220 people were atop the mountain Ontake when the volcano erupted.
The Ontake volcano, whose current eruption is the first since 2007, is located within 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of the large central Japanese city of Nagoya. The distance between Tokyo and Mt. Ontake makes up 200 kilometers (124 miles).