Tragedy struck in Indonesia as the eruption of the Marapi volcano in West Sumatra claimed the lives of eleven climbers, with twelve others reported missing. The eruption’s aftermath prompted a rescue mission, halting temporarily due to safety concerns.
Amidst the chaos, three survivors were discovered alongside the bodies of the deceased climbers on Monday. Jodi Haryawan, the spokesperson for the search and rescue team, confirmed the discovery within the group of 75 climbers present during Sunday’s eruption.
The volcano, standing at 2,891 meters (9,485 feet) tall, unleashed a towering ash column reaching 3 kilometers into the sky on Sunday. The eruption prompted authorities to raise the alert level to the second-highest, imposing a 3-kilometer restriction zone around the crater for residents’ safety.
Disturbing video footage captured the vast expanse of volcanic ash blanketing the sky and engulfing cars and roads in the area.
However, a smaller eruption on Monday halted the ongoing search operation. Jodi mentioned, “It’s too dangerous if we continue searching now.”
Earlier on Monday, 49 climbers were evacuated from the vicinity, with many undergoing treatment for burns incurred during the eruption.
Marapi has a history of volatility, being one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes. Its deadliest eruption occurred in April 1979, claiming 60 lives.
This year alone, the volcano had been active between January and February, ejecting ash around 75 meters to 1,000 meters from its summit.
Indonesia, situated on the Pacific’s volatile “Ring of Fire,” boasts 127 active volcanoes, as per the volcanology agency’s records. This recent eruption adds to the country’s volatile geological landscape, posing continuous challenges for residents and authorities alike.