Indonesia Volcano Eruption Leaves Multiple Dead and Missing

( – Indonesia is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and has an astounding 127 active volcanoes. One of those volcanoes recently erupted. Nearly two dozen have died as a result and one person remains missing as of Tuesday, December 5.

On Sunday, December 3, Mount Marapi volcano in the West Sumatra Province erupted. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency reported a column of ash that was over 9,800 feet high spewed out of it. Authorities advised residents of nearby towns to stay indoors as the ash rained down on their homes.

At the time of the eruption, 75 hikers were on the volcano. Emergency responders rescued most of the hikers at the time. However, on December 4, they also confirmed at least 11 people were killed and another 12 were still missing. More bodies were found the following day. Rescue operations were paused on Monday after there was a smaller eruption.

The volcano’s trails just reopened over the summer after being closed for several months due to eruptions from January to February. However, many hikers ignored the warnings and climbed it anyway. During the most recent event, the West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency had issued permits for hikers to access Mount Marapi.

Abdul Malik, the head of the Padang Search and Rescue Agency, told BBC News that there were people rescued on Monday before the search was halted. They reportedly had burns and were weak. The head of the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency, Rudy Rinaldi, confirmed people were burned and had been taken to the hospital.

Lingga Duta Andrefa, a student who was climbing with two friends, told The New York Times that they heard a roar like an airplane was flying above them. Suddenly, climbers above them yelled that the volcano was erupting, and rocks began falling around them. He said he thanked God that his group made it because not everyone in his proximity was so lucky.

The last time Marapi killed so many people was in 1979. Sixty people died in that eruption. At least 46 eruptions occurred on the volcano by Monday evening.

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