Indonesia: Volcano eruption kills 11 hikers, others injured

indonesia: volcano eruption kills 11 hikers, others injured

Indonesia lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

A volcano erupted on Sunday in western Indonesia, killing at least 11 hikers. Three others were rescued on Monday by search teams which worked through the night.

Mount Marapi on the island of Sumatra erupted, spewing an ash tower 3,000 meters high, which rained volcanic debris onto nearby villages. The peak is 2,891 meters (9,484 feet) high.

Authorities raised the alert to the second-highest level and prohibited residents from going within 3 kilometers of the crater. Local disaster agency official Ade Setiawan said in a statement that residents in local villages were “given masks and reminded to stay inside their houses.”

Search suspended

Video footage showed a huge cloud of volcanic ash spread widely across the sky while cars and roads were covered in ash. Jodi Haryawan, spokesperson for the search and rescue team, said the search had to be suspended because of a small eruption on Monday. “It’s too dangerous if we continue searching now,” he said.

Search teams found the 11 dead near the crater on Monday morning.

“There are 26 people who have not been evacuated, we have found 14 of them, three were found alive and 11 were found dead,” Abdul Malik, head of Padang Search and Rescue Agency told reporters on Monday.

Malik said the three survivors were found near the crater, and “their condition was weak, and some had burns.” Rescue workers had to take turns carrying down the dead, due to the difficult terrain.

He added that 49 people had climbed down from the mountain, some of which had to be taken to the hospital. Twelve were still missing.

“Some suffered from burns because it was very hot, and they have been taken to the hospital. Those who are injured were the ones who got closer to the crater,” Rudy Rinaldi, head of the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency told AFP news agency.

Indonesia lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity. It has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

tg/jsi (AFP, Reuters)

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