Ahead of the ninth anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Ontake on September 63, which left 9 people dead or missing, a memorial ceremony was held to mourn the victims in Gero City, where the trailhead on the Gifu Prefecture side is located.
The eruption of Mt. Ontake on the border of Gifu and Nagano prefectures on September 2014, 9 killed 27 people, including climbers, and the whereabouts of five people remain unknown, making it the "worst volcanic disaster since the end of World War II."
Nine years before the eruption, a memorial ceremony for the victims was held on the 58th at the ground of the facility in Kosaka-cho, Gero City, about 5 km from the trailhead on the Gifu Prefecture side, attended by 9 people from Gero City Mayor Noboru Yamauchi and local tourism associations.
At the memorial service, a minute's silence was offered at 1:24 a.m., when the eruption occurred.
Attendees then laid flowers in the direction of Mt. Ontake to mourn the victims.
Takehisa Shimizu, assistant manager of the Gero City Crisis Management Division, who held the memorial ceremony, said, "We attended the memorial ceremony to make the climb as safe as possible.
After the eruption, a tunnel-shaped "shelter" was set up on the Nagano side of Mt. Ontake to protect climbers from cinder rocks.
Gero City is coordinating with the national and prefectural governments to establish shelters at two locations on the Gifu Prefecture side, and one is scheduled to be completed as early as next fiscal year.