11 climbers dead, dozen missing after Marapi volcano erupted in Indonesia

Three climbers found alive were evacuated with a total of 75 people while injured were transferred to a hospital

By Web Desk
December 04, 2023
Volcanic ash spews from Mount Marapi during an eruption as seen from Tanah Datar in West Sumatra on December 3, 2023. — AFP

Officials on Monday discovered the bodies of at least 11 climbers near Mount Marapi — a highly active volcano — in Indonesia which erupted a day earlier in the province of West Sumatra, CNN reported.

Abdul Malik, head of search and rescue teams in West Sumatra, revealed that evacuations are underway in the area and a team of 40 rescuers was currently on the mountain while eruptions were still taking place.

In addition to the 11 who had died, three climbers have been found alive but a further 12 remain missing whose condition is unknown,Malik said.

A total of 75 people, including the climbers, have so far been evacuated, and those injured were sent to a hospital, according to an update issued on Monday morning.

Photos showed cars, roads, and entire villages nearby also seen covered in ash.

This combination of pictures shows volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Marapi on Sumatra Island covering vehicles in the village of Nagari Lasi in Agam Regency, Indonesia on December 3, 2023. — AFP

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

The 2,891-metre-high volcano, Marapi, erupted on Sunday, spewing ash and smoke plumes. Officials warned of potential dangers, including molten lava reaching roads and nearby rivers.

Following the latest eruption, authorities have raised the second-highest alert and barred all activities within 2 miles of Marapi’s crater from being carried out.

Ada Setiawan, an official with Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said that masks had been distributed to residents and encouraged them to stay indoors.

Climbing routes and trails have also been closed, officials said.

This year, it erupted between January and February and was spewing ash around 75 metres-1,000 metres from the peak, prompting mass evacuations and warnings from authorities of the risk of lava flows reaching roads.

Additionally, a violent eruption in 2010 killed more than 350 people.