11 Hikers Found Dead After Indonesia’s Mount Marapi Erupts
EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article stated that the mountain that erupted was Mount Merapi, which is in Central Java. We’ve since corrected it to Mount Marapi, which is in West Sumatra.
On Sunday (3 Dec), Indonesia’s Mount Marapi volcano in West Sumatra erupted, spewing hot ash over several surrounding villages.
Authorities closed two climbing routes following the eruption. However, about 75 climbers had been hiking up the volcano, having started their journey on Saturday (2 Dec).
Deploying personnel including police and soldiers to search for the missing climbers, authorities found 11 of them dead while 12 are still missing.
Mount Marapi eruption kills 11 climbers, 12 more missing
According to Al Jazeera, the eruption of Mount Marapi killed 11 climbers while 12 more were reported missing.
At the time of the eruption on 3 Dec, 75 people were still in the area and authorities were unable to evacuate 26 of them.
The Guardian reported that the 75 people were climbers who started their journey up the mountain on 2 Dec.
Abdul Malik, head of the Padang Search and Rescue Agency, said, “There are 26 people who have not been evacuated, we have found 14 of them, three were found alive and 11 were found dead.”
Footage of the eruption showed the volcano spewing hot ash, which filled the sky and coated cars and roads in debris. A minor eruption on Monday (4 Dec) resulted in the temporary suspension of rescue operations.
8 of 49 climbers rescued sustained injuries
After the eruption, authorities closed two climbing routes, stated The Guardian.
Ahmad Rifandi, an official with Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center at the Marapi monitoring post said they also advised residents living on the volcano’s slope to stay 3km away from the crater’s mouth due to potential lava.
However, the 75 climbers had already started their journey by then. More than 160 personnel, including police and soldiers, began search operations for the missing hikers.
Authorities transported eight of 49 climbers rescued to the hospital with burns, with one also sustaining a broken limb.
Rudy Rinaldi, head of the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency said that the burns were due to the heat. Others suffered injuries from getting too close to the crater.
In addition, West Sumatra’s natural resources conservation agency said that rescue teams were “working through the night” to bring mountaineers down to safety.
National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari also noted that the eruption sent ash plumes over 3,000 metres into the air.
The falling ash covered several villages and blocked sunlight as a result. Authorities subsequently distributed masks and advised residents to wear eyeglasses for protection against volcanic ash.
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Featured image adapted from Reuters via The Guardian.
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