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An avalanche hit a tent site near to Yaridaira hut,

Takayama Gifu prefecture on 2007 Jan 1st 0:15am.

Seven, one female and six males were buried when

sleeping in the tents. Apx. 20 people near-by digged

out them, and carried them in the hut which has

no custodian, for evacuation only. Three were

rescued with safe, though four males ( 31 and 51

from Tokusima, 60 from Kanagawa and 45 from Tokyo)

remain unconscious. Gifu police started rescue work

from the morning. There were more than 3 meters snow

fall, and 23 groups 74 pepople staying at the tent

site, a report told.


Source: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20080101-00000011-mai-soci


EDIT: At 2:00pm on Jan 1st, Gifu police confirmed three

were no injured and four males were dead at the scene.



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The following post is very suggestive.

Source: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20080101-00000057-mai-soci



34 years ago, 1973 Nov 20, a 22 peple group was

attacked by an avy at around the same time and

on around the same place, several hundreds meters

apart from Yaridaira hut. Five were killed.

They were sleeping, and their tents were covered

by snow of several ten centimeters to one meter.

It meant 540 Kg to 1,080 Kg weight placing on

a tent, a report guessed. Some who slept with

face-up had high risk to be suffocated by tent

cloth. Some who slept face-side had chance to

keep air space for alive. A knife may be important

to rip tent cloth.


Personal Comment:

A succeding news told the female rescued were

digged out 10 minitues after she was buried

by 2007.Jan.1 avy. Wear a beacon & a knife and

sleep with face-side when staying in a tent

in mountains.



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Thanks for the advice but this time I think you have to question why people are on the mountain, and Yarigatake in particular, in this storm. You could see it coming on every single forecast, as early as Dec 22/3 on the long range Unisys one. That's more than enough time for people to change plans. You don't have to climb Yari at New Year. There are lots of other mountains in Japan, many of which would have been safer and much more enjoyable. I get the feeling half the people only go there for the name value.

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> why people are on the mountain, and

> Yarigatake in particular, in this storm.

I heard a member of Gifu rescue team said so.

Me too. I suppose they would plan to see

New Year Sunrise on Jan 1st on the top of

Yari-gatake. Then they must realize it was

impossible to do it by bad weather, so far

they believed to pitch their tents at

"seemed to be safety" place for a temporary

evacuation from the harsh night.


An update news reports more...



The lady rescued told, in the tent, she

heard no sound, but felt a big gust suddenly,

then was pressed by heavy stuff(snow).

She attempted escaping, successed to make

a slit on the inner tent by sliding a zipper,

then can get her right hand appeared to

outside after cutting the outer tent sheet

by her teeth. She was not able to move her

body untill she was digged out.



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