Mount Marapi Volcano Eruption in Indonesia 11 Killed Several Missing
Mount Marapi Volcano Eruption in Indonesia 11 Killed Several Missing

INDONESIA: Tragedy struck as Mount Marapi, a volcano in western Indonesia, erupted, claiming the lives of 11 hikers while leaving several others unaccounted for. The eruption, which occurred on Sumatra Island, propelled a towering 3,000-meter ash column into the sky from the peak standing at 2,891 meters (9,484 feet).

Abdul Malik, the chief of Padang Search and Rescue Agency, revealed grim details, stating, "Of the 26 individuals yet to be evacuated, 14 have been located. Tragically, 11 were found deceased, while three survivors were rescued." Efforts were underway to track down a total of 75 hikers who were on the mountain during the eruption. Among them, 12 remained missing, while 49 had descended, with some requiring medical attention at nearby hospitals, Malik informed AFP.

"Throughout the night, rescue teams tirelessly worked to ensure the safe descent of mountaineers," emphasized West Sumatra's natural resources conservation agency, quoted by AFP.

Authorities promptly escalated the alert level to the second-highest, imposing a strict 3 km (1.86 miles) exclusion zone around the crater. Video recordings depicted an extensive cloud of volcanic ash engulfing the sky, while ash-covered cars and roads testified to the eruption's impact.

Despite ongoing efforts, a temporary halt was announced in the search and rescue operations following a smaller eruption on Monday. Jodi, a spokesperson, highlighted the risks, stating, "Continuing the search now would pose significant danger."

Forty-nine climbers were successfully evacuated earlier that Monday, with numerous individuals undergoing treatment for burns sustained during the eruption, Jodi confirmed.

Indonesia, situated within the volatile "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific, is home to 127 active volcanoes, according to the volcanology agency.

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