The slopes of Mount Marapi on the Indonesian island of Sumatra became the tragic site where the bodies of 11 hikers were discovered following a volcanic eruption. The incident occurred on Sunday, and ash plumes cascaded down the mountain, disrupting the activities of dozens of climbers. The local search and rescue agency confirmed the discovery of the victims on Monday, adding that 12 climbers remain missing.
Mount Marapi, an active volcano situated in West Sumatra Province, erupted with a column of ash reaching nearly 3,000 meters high, as reported by Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The volcanic ash not only affected climbers but also rained down on nearby towns. Residents in the vicinity were cautioned against leaving their homes due to potential hazards.
The local search and rescue team, based in the city of Padang, has encountered challenges in locating the missing climbers due to intermittent volcanic activity. Abdul Malik, the team leader, stated that efforts to find the remaining 12 climbers have been hindered by eight eruptions recorded as of Monday morning.
Indonesia, being the world’s largest archipelago nation, is situated along the notorious Ring of Fire, a region prone to seismic activity, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, due to the convergence of tectonic plates. Mount Marapi has experienced multiple eruptions in recent years. During a January eruption, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency reported that climbers were camping on the volcano despite warnings against ascending.
Approximately 75 hikers were on Mount Marapi when the volcanic activity commenced on Sunday, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. By Monday, 28 individuals had been successfully rescued. The incident highlights the ongoing risks associated with volcanic activity in the region, emphasizing the importance of caution and adherence to safety guidelines for those engaging in mountain-related activities.