Last updated: 06.12.2023, 04:01 a.m.
More than 30 teams with a total of 300 rescue workers are working on the Marapi. © Ade Yuandha/AP/dpa
Mourning in Sumatra: Nearly two dozen people have died on the Marapi volcano - or possibly more.
Jakarta - Three days after the sudden eruption of the Marapi volcano on the island of Sumatra, all 23 missing climbers have been located and pronounced dead. "Of the 75 registered hikers, 52 were successfully rescued, although some have minor to serious injuries. 23 were pronounced dead," said the police chief of West Sumatra province. Most of the dead reportedly had severe burns.
More than 30 teams with a total of 300 rescue workers are working to bring the bodies down to the valley. So far, 16 of the victims have been handed over to the police for identification, said the head of the local emergency services, Abdul Malik. However, the authorities fear that there may have been even more climbers on Marapi who had not officially registered for their ascent. Search parties continued to comb the slopes.
Ash continues to rain
The almost 3000-meter-high Marapi - not to be confused with the almost eponymous volcano Merapi on the island of Java - had erupted early Sunday afternoon (local time) and had thrown a cloud of ash and debris about three kilometers high into the sky. Since then, there have been dozens of other, smaller eruptions, which, coupled with heavy rain, had hampered the rescue work.
Ash rain continued to fall in several districts on Wednesday. "But right now, it's just ash, not debris," said Bambang Wasito of the local disaster management agency. Authorities urged the population to wear protective masks, hats and goggles outdoors to protect themselves from ash and volcanic rock debris.
Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Sumatra. Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the most geologically active zone on earth. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are not uncommon. Dpa