11 found dead, 12 missing after Indonesia's Marapi volcano erupts

Mount Marapi previously erupted between January and February, spewing ash around 75-1,000 metres from peak

By
Web Desk
Monday, December 04, 2023
Mount Marapi volcano spews volcanic ash as seen from Nagari Batu Palano in Agam, West Sumatra province, Indonesia, December 4, 2023. — Reuters

At least 11 climbers were found dead in Indonesia on Monday following the eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano in West Sumatra, according to a rescue official.

Meanwhile, the search for the 12 missing climbers was temporarily suspended due to safety concerns.

According to Jodi Haryawan, a spokesman for the search and rescue team, three survivors and the remains of the 11 climbers — among the 75 people in the region at the time of Sunday's eruption — were discovered on Monday.

The 2,891-meter (9,485-foot)-tall volcano erupted on Sunday, shooting ash up to 3 kilometres into the sky.

Following the eruption, authorities issued a second-highest level alert and restricted residents from within 3km of a crater due to a massive cloud of volcanic ash and ash-covered cars and roads.

A small eruption on Monday prompted the search to be suspended, Jodi said.

"It's too dangerous if we continue searching now," he said.

There were 49 climbers evacuated from the area earlier Monday and many were being treated for burns, he said.

Mount Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes on Sumatra Island and its most deadly eruption was in April 1979, when 60 people died, Reuters reported.

This year, it erupted between January and February and was spewing ash around 75 metres-1,000 metres from the peak.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific's so-called "Ring of Fire" and has 127 active volcanoes, according to the volcanology agency.