Marapi Volcano Erupts in Indonesia, Claims 11 Lives, Search for Missing Climbers Temporarily Halted

49 Climbers have been rescued and 12 are still missing.

Eleven climbers lost their lives on Monday in Indonesia as a result of the eruption of the Marapi volcano in West Sumatra, according to a statement from a rescue official. The tragic incident has also led to a temporary suspension of the search for 12 individuals who are still missing due to safety concerns.

Marapi volacano eruption

Jodi Haryawan, the spokesperson for the search and rescue team, revealed that among the 75 climbers present in the area during Sunday's eruption, "In the first stage, 49 climbers were found. They all survived and were taken to hospital, and some have returned home. In the second stage, we found 14 people, three survived and 11 others died," head of Padang Search and Rescue Agency Abdul Malik told Xinhua news agency.

The bodies of the deceased climbers were discovered on Monday. The Marapi volcano, standing at an elevation of 2,891 meters (9,485 feet), spewed ash up to 3 km into the sky during the eruption on Sunday.

As a precautionary measure, authorities escalated the alert level to the second-highest and enforced a restriction, prohibiting residents from approaching within 3 km of the volcano's crater. Video footage captured the aftermath of the eruption, showcasing a massive cloud of volcanic ash spreading across the sky and ash-covered cars and roads.

Indonesia Volcano eruption
11 Climbers killed and 12 are missing after Marapi Volcano erupted in West Sumatra Island

The search and rescue efforts faced a setback on Monday due to a small eruption, prompting a temporary halt in operations. Jodi emphasized the dangers involved in continuing the search under the current conditions. Evacuation efforts were initiated earlier on Monday, with 49 climbers successfully evacuated from the area. Many of them are now undergoing treatment for burns.

Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has 127 active volcanos – more volcanoes than anywhere else in the world. Mount Marapi is known as one of the most active volcanoes on Sumatra Island, with its most catastrophic eruption occurring in April 1979, claiming the lives of 60 people. The recent eruption serves as a somber reminder of the unpredictable nature of volcanic activity and the inherent risks associated with climbing in such regions.