11 hikers found dead, others missing after Mount Marapi eruption in Indonesia


Eleven hikers were discovered dead, and a dozen remain missing following a volcanic eruption on Mount Marapi in Indonesia.

The catastrophe unfolded on Sunday when the 2,891-meter volcano, located on the island of Sumatra, spewed a towering ash column reaching 3,000 meters into the sky.

Rescue operations were launched immediately, with teams working tirelessly through the night to locate and assist hikers stranded on the mountain.

The eruption had unleashed a torrent of ash, affecting nearby villages and leaving survivors with burns and fractures.

Local rescue officials reported that the deceased hikers were found near the volcano’s crater, while 49 others managed to descend, some with injuries.

The search for the missing individuals involves around 120 rescuers, who are manually bringing down the injured and stranded, as ongoing eruptions prevent helicopter assistance.

The rescue efforts faced challenges due to sporadic eruptions, but officials emphasized that the search continued despite the risks.

Some survivors were found near the crater, with one harrowing video showing a rescue worker carrying an injured hiker to safety in the darkness of the night.

Among the rescued hikers is 19-year-old Zhafirah Zahrim Febrina, who, in a video message, pleaded for help from her mother.

Febrina, along with 18 school friends, was on a hiking trip when the eruption occurred. She is currently in a nearby hospital, psychologically affected by the trauma of witnessing burns and enduring pain throughout the night.

The eruption caused ash rain, reaching the city of Bukittinggi, the third-largest in West Sumatra. Cars, scooters, and ambulances in the vicinity were coated with ash, and residents reported a temporary blockage of sunlight.

Mount Marapi is at the second alert level in Indonesia’s four-step system, prompting authorities to establish a three-kilometre exclusion zone around its crater. At least eight rescued hikers suffered burns, pointing to the perilous conditions near the erupting volcano.

As the search for the missing hikers intensifies, families anxiously await news. Relief swept over Febrina’s family when they received confirmation of her safety through a livestream on TikTok by a rescue services member.

The Indonesian archipelago, situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, is prone to high volcanic and seismic activity, with nearly 130 active volcanoes across the country

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