This Is What It Looks Like Near an Erupting Volcano

PHOTO: Volcanic smoke rises from Mount Ontake, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures, central Japan, Sept. 27, 2014, in this photo taken and released by Kyodo.PlayKyodo News/Reuters
WATCH Hiker Captures Deadly Volcano Eruption on Camera

The search for survivors was called off today after a volcano erupted on Saturday in Japan, with at least 36 apparent deaths and 63 injured.

Mount Ontake, a popular hiking destination, is about 130 miles west of Tokyo on the main Japanese island of Honshu. The volcano erupted just before noon on what was a clear autumn day, leaving hundreds of hikers trapped for several hours.

PHOTO: Dense fumes are spewed out from several spots on the slope of Mt. Ontake as the volcano erupts in central Japan, Sept. 27, 2014. Yomiuri Shimbun/Toshihiko Kawaguchi/AP Photo
Dense fumes are spewed out from several spots on the slope of Mt. Ontake as the volcano erupts in central Japan, Sept. 27, 2014.

About 40 people who had been stranded on the mountain came down on Sunday, the Associated Press reported. Many were injured, some with broken bones, by falling ash and stone, and they were rescued with the aid of stretchers and helicopters.

PHOTO: Climbers descend Mt. Ontake to flee as the volcanic mountain erupts in central Japan, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Kyodo News/AP Photo
Climbers descend Mt. Ontake to flee as the volcanic mountain erupts in central Japan, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.

Five more victims were recovered on Monday, Reuters reported, bringing the death toll to at least 36 victims before rescuers stopped searching because of toxic gas. It was not clear how the victims died.

A total of 12 bodies had been recovered as of Monday morning ET, with another 24 apparent dead still on the mountain, The Associated Press reported.

Recovery of Bodies Underway at Japanese Volcano

PHOTO: Firefighters and members of Japans Self-Defense Forces conduct a rescue operation at a cabin near the peak of Mount Ontake as plumes of smoke billow in central Japan, Sept. 28, 2014. Kyodo News/AP Photo
Firefighters and members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces conduct a rescue operation at a cabin near the peak of Mount Ontake as plumes of smoke billow in central Japan, Sept. 28, 2014.

Mountain lodges and trails were covered in a thick layer of ash, forcing hundreds of rescuers to trek knee-deep.

PHOTO: JGSDF personnel and fire fighters head for the summit of Mount Ontake to rescue people who have been trapped in the mountaintop lodge one day after the volcano became active in central Japan, Sept. 28, 2014. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force/AP Photo
JGSDF personnel and fire fighters head for the summit of Mount Ontake to rescue people who have been trapped in the mountaintop lodge one day after the volcano became active in central Japan, Sept. 28, 2014.

Mount Ontake had a minor eruption seven years ago. Its last major eruption, the first on record, was in 1979, according to Reuters. It is Japan's second-highest active volcano, with a peak that is 10,062-feet tall. Some families waited for news about their missing loved ones.

PHOTO: Rescue workers carry a climber rescued from Mount Ontake into an ambulance, in Kiso, Nagano prefecture in central Japan, Sept. 28, 2014. Kyodo News/AP Photo
Rescue workers carry a climber rescued from Mount Ontake into an ambulance, in Kiso, Nagano prefecture in central Japan, Sept. 28, 2014.
PHOTO: This aerial picture taken on September 28, 2014 shows a helicopter of Japans Self Defense Force lifting a survivor from volcanic ash covered top of Mount Ontake at Nagano prefecture. (Photo credit JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images) AFP/Getty Images
This aerial picture taken on September 28, 2014 shows a helicopter of Japan's Self Defense Force lifting a survivor from volcanic ash covered top of Mount Ontake at Nagano prefecture. (Photo credit JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)