Indonesia volcano death toll rises to 22

Nine more bodies were found on Tuesday, local search and rescue official says

By AFP

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 5 Dec 2023, 5:07 PM

The death toll from a volcano eruption in Indonesia has risen to 22 after nine more bodies were found, a local search and rescue agency official said Tuesday.

"Nine of 10 missing victims were found dead this afternoon and at the moment, they are being evacuated. There is one remaining victim currently in search," Abdul Malik, head of Padang Search and Rescue Agency, told AFP.

Mount Marapi on the island of Sumatra erupted on Sunday, belching a tower of ash three kilometres into the sky as 75 people were hiking in the area. The rescue mission that followed has been hampered for days by further volcanic activity and bad weather but nearly all of the missing hikers have been found, with one still unaccounted for.

Ahmad Rifandi, head of Marapi's monitoring post, told AFP on Tuesday that it had observed five eruptions from midnight to 8am. Later in the day rainfall and volcanic smoke were still blocking a view of Marapi, according to an AFP journalist.

Mount Marapi, which means 'Mountain of Fire', is the most active volcano on Sumatra island.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide. The archipelago nation has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

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