At Least 11 Dead after Volcano Eruption in Indonesia

( – Authorities found eleven hikers dead and rescued another 12 who were missing on December 4, following a volcano eruption in Indonesia. Local reports pointed out that many rescuers were racing to carry burned and injured survivors down the mountain on foot.

Different media outlets said that the Indonesian officials ordered the pause of the search for missing people, after Mount Marapi erupted for a second time, unleashing another burst of hot ash as high as 2,620 feet into the air. West Sumatra Search and Rescue Agency chief Abdul Malik said during a press conference that all search operations will resume when conditions “improve.” He also told reporters that while 75 hikers were in the area at the moment of the eruption, “most of them” were safely evacuated.”

Rescuers worked on the island of Sumatra to find dozens of hikers who were stranded on the volcano after it spewed an ash tower into the sky on December 3. Malik explained that the eleven dead hikers were found near Mount Marapi’s crater after the volcano rained ash on every nearby village. He also told reporters that rescuers are carrying survivors down “manually,” taking turns to make their job as “best as they can.” He also said that the main problem right now is that authorities can’t make any air search with a helicopter as the volcano eruption remains active.

When asked about the rescuers involved, he said the total amount was 120, and noted they were doing their “biggest efforts” not only to bring any survivor but also any corpse down. He also said many of the survivors had a weak condition and presented severe burns.

During an interview with AFP, Mount Marapi monitoring station chief Ahmad Rifandi said that ash rain started to fall after the eruption reached Vukittinggi, which is the third-largest city in the region of West Sumatra. He added that the plume of ash and smoke blocked out the sun.

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