Mount Marapi Eruption: Death Toll Climbs to 22
The number of fatalities from Mount Marapi's volcanic eruption in Indonesia has increased to 22, following the discovery of nine additional bodies by rescue teams. The search for the remaining missing hiker was set to continue on Wednesday after delays due to hazardous conditions.
Nine of the ten hikers initially reported missing were found by Tuesday afternoon. The injured survivors, totaling twelve, are being treated in hospitals. Rescue operations have faced challenges due to the volcano's continuous activity.
Ahmad Rifandi, in charge of monitoring Mount Marapi, reported five eruptions just on Tuesday and noted the active state of the volcano, obscured by cloud cover.
Despite the dangers, rescuers have been utilizing periods of reduced activity to search for the unaccounted-for individuals. Following Sunday's eruption, which hurled a 3km-high ash cloud, most of the 75 hikers in the area at the time were evacuated, and those with injuries, including burns, received medical attention.
Mount Marapi, an especially active Indonesian volcano also known for attracting hikers, had its most lethal eruption in 1979, which claimed 60 lives. Recent video captured the extensive spread of the ash cloud from the eruption, the effects of which were evident on vehicles and roads covered in ash.
Emergency personnel have faced the challenging task of transporting victims across difficult terrain. West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Rudy Rinaldi commented on the burns suffered by some in the incident.
A 19 year-old hiker, Zhafirah Zahrim Febrina, reached out to her mother through a video during the ordeal, showing visible signs of distress and injury. Now hospitalized, Febrina's experience caused significant physical and psychological trauma.
Marapi, part of Sumatra Indonesia's third-largest island stands at 2,891 meters tall. The country's location on the Pacific Ring of Fire makes it prone to frequent volcanic and seismic events due to tectonic activity.