Volcano Eruption Devastates Indonesia with Multiple Fatalities and Several Missing

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On Dec. 4, one day after the eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano, the bodies of 11 climbers were recovered by Indonesian rescuers who are searching for 12 climbers that are still missing.

The 11 climbers were part of a group of 75 who began climbing up the mountain Dec. 2 before becoming stranded. All 75 were local climbers, according to search and rescue team spokesperson Jodi Haryawan.

On Dec. 3, eight climbers were rescued and transported to hospitals with burns. One of the rescued climbers also suffered a broken limb, according to Hari Agustian, an official with the Search and Rescue Agency in Padang, the provincial capital of West Sumatra.

Three climbers were also rescued Dec. 4, according to West Sumatra’s Search and Rescue Agency head Abdul Malik. Since the volcano erupted, 49 of the 75 climbers have been rescued.

A video posted to social media shows volcanic dust and rain covering the faces and in the hair of the rescued climbers.

A small eruption Dec. 4 temporarily halted search and rescue operations.

Volcanic debris covered nearby villages and towns. Authorities gave out masks and warned residents to use eyeglasses to protect them from the volcanic ash. About 1,400 residents live in the villages of Rubai and Gobah Cumantiang. The villages are located around 3.1 to 3.7 miles from Marapi’s peak.

Since 2011, Marapi has remained at the third highest alert level out of four, which indicates above-normal volcanic activity. It also prohibits climbers or villagers from being within 1.8 miles of the peak of the 9,480-foot mountain, the head of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation, Hendra Gunawan, said. According to Gunawan, a significant increase in volcanic earthquakes did not precede the eruption. Between Nov. 16 and the Dec. 3 eruption, deep volcanic earthquakes were only recorded three times. The volcano has erupted regularly since 2004, with a span of 2-4 years between eruptions. Since its January eruption, the volcano has been considered to be active.

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