Disasters & Accidents

Indonesian volcanic eruption death toll rises to 13, 10 missing

(Update 1: Adds new figures for dead and missing, changes head and lede)

Jakarta, Dec 5 (EFE).- Indonesian rescue teams on Tuesday found two more hikers’ bodies following the weekend’s eruption of Mt. Marapi, West Sumatra, bringing the number of deaths to at least 13, while the search continues for another 10 missing.

About 200 people had been participating in the search for the climbers since dawn on Tuesday, according to reports from the area, but their efforts were complicated by continued volcanic activity, including five new, smaller eruptions.

Since Sunday’s main eruption, rescuers have evacuated 52 climbers from the volcano, of the 75 that local authorities say were there at the time of the incident. Five bodies have been taken down off the mountain, with another eight in process.

Photos and videos shared by search teams show rescuers dressed in orange and wearing masks as they worked on the slopes amid grey ash and smoke or steam bellowing from the volcano’s peak.

Sunday’s eruption occurred around 2.54 pm local time (07:54 GMT), as reported in a statement at the time by Indonesia’s Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation.

The incident was captured on camera by residents of nearby towns who posted videos on social media of the enormous ash column that caused debris to rain down on the area.

The volcano, with a summit of 2,891 meters and whose name translates as “Mountain of Fire,” is the most active on the island of Sumatra.

Indonesia is home to more than 400 volcanoes, of which at least 129 are active and 65 are classified as dangerous.

The Indonesian archipelago sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity, which is shaken by about 7,000 earthquakes a year, most of them of small magnitude. EFE


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