The number of fatalities from the Indonesia volcano has increased to 23, as rescue workers have located the remains of the final missing hiker on Mount Marapi.

The number of fatalities from the Indonesia volcano has increased to 23, as rescue workers have located the remains of the final missing hiker on Mount Marapi.

Officials in Indonesia reported that the death toll from a volcanic eruption has now reached 23 as 10 additional bodies were found on Wednesday. After a surprise eruption over the weekend, rescue teams were able to locate the last missing climber on the dangerous slopes of Mount Marapi.

Mount Marapi

A volcanic eruption on Sumatra Island resulted in a 9,800-foot ash tower, taller than the volcano itself, on Sunday. 75 climbers were stranded after starting their ascent on Saturday, with 52 being rescued and 11 confirmed dead. The search and recovery efforts were temporarily halted due to new eruptions on Monday and Tuesday, according to Abdul Malik, the chief of the Padang Search and Rescue Agency.

Over the course of several days, a large number of rescue workers have diligently searched for lost hikers. According to the National Search and Rescue Agency, two climbers were discovered deceased on Monday, with an additional nine bodies found the following day.

Rescuers informed BBC News Indonesia that they have been utilizing periods of relative peace to search for the individuals who are unaccounted for, and the search for the final missing hiker will continue on Wednesday.

Indonesian rescue teams carry body of Mount Marapi eruption victim in Nagari Batu Plano

On December 5, 2023, rescue teams from Indonesia transported the deceased victim of the Mount Marapi eruption in Nagari Batu Plano, Agam, located in the West Sumatra province.

The photo is taken by Muhammad Arif Pribadi and published by Antara, displayed through REUTERS.

Rescue officials stated that the deceased were transported down the mountain in body bags over multiple days.

Basarnas shared images of a team of six rescuers wearing orange jackets and hard hats as they carried a body down the side of the volcano on Tuesday.

Several of the 75 individuals who were hiking on the mountain during the volcanic eruption were discovered to be alive and were brought down, but many of them sustained burns and fractures.

The explosion made a loud noise.

A survivor described feeling panicked when the eruption started.

Ridho, 22, reported to AFP from his hospital bed nearby that he had been trekking and descending in a zig-zag pattern, reaching depths of around 30 to 40 meters.

“The explosion was deafening. I turned to see what had happened and, like everyone else, I quickly fled. Some people even stumbled and fell in their haste. I sought shelter behind the rocks, as there were no trees in the area.”

Officials reported that the volcano was still actively erupting on Tuesday afternoon, which was causing delays in the rescue operation involving over 200 individuals.

In the afternoon, a journalist from AFP reported that the view of Marapi was still obscured due to rainfall and volcanic smoke.

According to Ahmad Rifandi, the leader of Marapi’s monitoring post, there were five eruptions observed from midnight until 8 a.m. on Tuesday, as reported by AFP.

“He mentioned that Marapi is currently highly active. Unfortunately, the cloud is obstructing our view of the column’s height,” he stated.

Indonesia Volcano Eruption

On December 4, 2023, drivers pass by while Mount Marapi in Agam, West Sumatra, Indonesia erupts and releases volcanic materials.

Ardhy Fernando/AP

Hendra Gunawan, the chief of Indonesia’s agency for monitoring volcanoes, stated that Marapi has maintained a level 2 alert on a scale of 4 since 2011. As a precaution, a 3-kilometer area around the volcano’s crater has been designated as an exclusion zone.

On Monday, he seemed to hold hikers responsible for getting too close to the crater. He stated that the agency advises against any human activities in that area and stressed that victims within one to 1.5 kilometers from the crater experienced severe consequences.

Authorities reported that the individuals who were hiking had utilized an internet reservation platform, though there is a possibility that other individuals may have been traversing unauthorized mountain paths.

Eka Purnamasari, an official from the West Sumatra police medical unit, reported that the victims who lost their lives suffered severe burns. Forensic workers are currently in the process of identifying the deceased through dental and fingerprint records, as well as markings on their bodies.

Rescue officials stated that the search for the hikers would continue for a duration of seven days until they were all located.

“Emotionally affected by the sudden outburst”

According to the BBC, video footage captured from Sunday’s eruption displayed a massive cloud of volcanic ash scattering throughout the sky, as well as cars and roads coated in ash.

According to the BBC, on Monday, the rescue team rotated in carrying the deceased and wounded individuals down the challenging mountain landscape and onto ambulances with loud sirens.

Rudy Rinaldi, the head of West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency, reported that certain individuals sustained burns due to extremely high temperatures and were transported to a hospital for treatment.

Indonesia often undergoes seismic and volcanic events as a result of its location on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates meet.

According to the BBC, Mount Marapi, known as the “Mountain of Fire,” is the most active volcano out of the approximately 130 active volcanoes on Sumatra island. The volcano’s most devastating eruption took place in 1979 and resulted in the loss of 60 lives.

Residents shared accounts of the devastation caused by the sudden eruption of the volcano on Sunday.

According to Adrizal, who is the leader of Nagari Lasi village, the villagers were greatly surprised by a loud thundering sound. This was followed by a sudden jolt and a loud boom. The eruption had a significant impact on the villagers, causing them to experience a great deal of trauma.