Disasters & Accidents

Several dead from volcanic eruption in Indonesia

Jakarta, Dec 5 (EFE).- The number of people killed due to the eruption of Mt. Marapi, in the western Indonesian island of Sumatra, increased to 22 after 11 fresh bodies were found on Sunday, while one continues to remain missing.

Abdul Malik, the head of Padang search and rescue agency, said in a statement that 22 bodies had been found, 13 evacuated and another nine were being moved from Mt. Marapi, the most active volcano in Sumatra.

Some 200 people on Tuesday took part in the search for 12 missing mountaineers and found 11 bodies amid continued volcanic activity.

During the day, there were at least five fresh, minor eruptions, according to rescue teams.

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.

Photos and videos shared by search teams show rescuers dressed in orange and wearing masks as they worked on the slopes amid gray 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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