Japan volcano video: Watch the moment Mount Ontake erupted

Footage caught by a person on the mountain shows the sheer speed of ash descent

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The shocking moment at which hikers on Mount Ontake witnessed the volcano erupt and its dangerous ash cloud roll down the mountain has been caught on film.

Kuroda Terutoshi filmed people attempting to run down the mountain as vast plumes of smoke billowed out of its peak and began soaring down the mountainside as hikers tried to escape it.

The thick grey smoke eventually engulfs Terutoshi completely, and the scene inside the ash cloud demonstrates is paralysing effect, with volcanic rocks shooting overhead.

Around 250 people were left stranded on the mountainside when it erupted, with most able to descend it safely after much of the smoke had cleared.

 “All of a sudden ash piled up so quickly that we couldn’t even open the door,” Shuichi Mukaj, a worker who was in a mountain lodge just below Mount Ontake’s peak, said.

“We were really packed in there, maybe 150 people. There were some children crying, but most people were calm. We waited there in hard hats until they told us it was safe to come down,” he said.

At least 31 people found by rescuers on Sunday near the peak of the mountain are believed to have been killed, with scores others injured, and a number of people are believed still missing.