The search for 12 climbers in Indonesia has been suspended due to the latest eruption of Mount Marapi. The volcano released a new surge of hot ash, reaching heights of up to 800 meters (2,620 feet). Officials have reported the development.
Earlier in the day, the remains of 11 climbers were found during the search for the missing individuals. However, due to increased activity, efforts to relocate the bodies were impeded, according to Abdul Malik, the head of West Sumatra’s Search and Rescue Agency. The search will continue once the conditions improve.
The agency’s video depicted rescuers carrying a wounded climber on a stretcher down the mountain and loading them into an ambulance to transport them to the hospital.
On Sunday, Marapi erupted and released hot ash clouds.
The volcano has maintained its position at the third highest level on a four-tiered alert system since 2011. This level indicates increased volcanic activity and has resulted in a ban on climbing and for villagers to reside within a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) radius of the peak. Hendra Gunawan, the leader of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation, made this announcement.
According to Gunawan, climbers are not permitted to reach the peak and are only allowed in areas below the danger zone. However, some climbers disregard this rule in pursuit of their own satisfaction to climb higher.
Around 75 individuals who were climbing a mountain that stands at approximately 2,900 meters (9,480 feet) began their ascent on Saturday but became stuck. On Monday, authorities managed to save 52 of them, and an additional three were rescued the following day. Of the eight individuals who were rescued on Sunday, they were quickly taken to the hospital due to burns and one had a broken limb. Hari Agustian, an official from the local Search and Rescue Agency in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province, reported this information.
According to Agustian, all the mountaineers had either registered at two command posts or online with West Sumatra’s conservation agency prior to beginning their climb. He was unable to provide an exact count of individuals who may be stranded, as some may have taken unauthorized routes and local residents may also be in the vicinity.
On Sunday, Marapi erupted and released dense ash columns that reached a height of 3,000 meters (9,800 feet). The hot ash clouds spread over several miles, covering nearby villages and towns with large amounts of volcanic debris. A video on social media showed that the faces and hair of evacuated climbers were covered in volcanic dust and rain.
Ash from the volcano covered multiple villages and caused a blockage in sunlight. To protect themselves, officials handed out masks and advised citizens to wear glasses.
Approximately 1,400 individuals reside on the slopes of Mount Marapi in the villages of Rubai and Gobah Cumantiang, which are the closest settlements located approximately 5 to 6 kilometers (3.1 to 3.7 miles) away from the summit.
According to Gunawan, the eruption that occurred on Sunday was not preceded by a notable rise in volcanic earthquakes. There were only three instances of deep volcanic earthquakes recorded between Nov. 16 and Sunday. The equipment used to measure deformation, specifically the tiltmeter on the peak, showed a horizontal pattern on the radial axis and a slight inflation on the tangential axis.
He stated that this indicates the eruption is happening rapidly and the pressure center is close to the peak.
According to Gunawan, Marapi has consistently erupted since 2004, with intervals of 2 to 4 years.
According to Gunawan, the eruptions of Marapi are always abrupt and hard to identify with equipment due to their proximity to the surface. However, he also stated that this particular eruption was not triggered by magma movement.
Marapi has been consistently active since an eruption in January, which fortunately did not result in any casualties. It is one of over 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a country known for its vulnerability to seismic activity due to its placement on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a curved area of volcanoes and fault lines surrounding the Pacific Ocean.
Niniek Karmini, a writer for the Associated Press in Jakarta, Indonesia, provided information for this report.
This article has been revised to accurately state the number of missing climbers.