Officials warned those residing within 4km of the mountain to beware of debris caused by the huge eruption.
A woman who runs a lodge near the summit of the 3000 metre high mountain said, “It was like thunder. I heard boom, boom, then everything went dark.”
Over 150 people were trapped in buildings near the summit of Mount Ontake after the eruption.
It has been confirmed that 55 people are dead as a result of the eruption. Rescuers are still trying to make their way through the deep swamp of volcanic ash to find those still missing.
Early after the eruption, the layer of ash was 15cm thick and increasing rapidly. Some rescuers were even sinking into the ash as deep as their chests.
Mount Ontake last erupted in 2007.
Article written by Charlotte