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66-Year-Old Man Found on Oshima Almost a Week after Volcano Eruption

November 27, 1986

TOKYO (AP) _ Police on Thursday found a feeble 66-year-old man with a broken hip on Oshima Island, six days after a volcanic eruption forced the rest of the island’s inhabitants to flee, a Tokyo official said.

The Central Meteorological Agency said volcanic Mount Mihara has remained silent for four days. Only light smoke was seen coming from the mountain Thursday.

Agency officials said, however, that underwater volcanic activity around the island was still expected.

The Tokyo municipal government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Bunjiro Tamaoki, who lives alone in a house away from the island’s main road, had been left behind in the evacuation of more than 11,000 people last Friday and Saturday. The official said Tamaoki had broken his hip in an accident unrelated to the eruption.

No food was found in his house. The official quoted him as telling the police, ″I stayed at home because I felt safe. I did not touch food at all for a week.″

He was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Tokyo, about 70 miles from the island, the official said.

The official said 50 police searched houses on Oshima to find out if anyone else had been left behind.

Most of the refugees are sheltered in gymnasiums and other public buildings in Tokyo.

Mount Mihara erupted on Nov. 15 for the first time in 12 years, then sent streams of lava down the mountainside in a more powerful eruption last Friday.

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