Indonesia: At least eleven hikers killed in volcanic eruption

At least eleven hikers killed in volcanic eruption

Numerous people die when the Marapi volcano erupts. photo

© Andri Mardiansyah/XinHua/dpa

Marapi is one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes. Its outbreak catches two dozen hikers unprepared – with dramatic consequences.

At the outbreak of the At least eleven hikers have died at the Marapi volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Twelve others were still missing on the mountain of fire, said Abdul Malik, head of the national emergency services, in the provincial capital Padang. Around 50 other hikers were evacuated after the eruption. How exactly the victims died was not initially known.

The almost 3,000 meter high volcano erupted early on Sunday afternoon and spewed an ash cloud around three kilometers high into the sky. The authorities then immediately set up a three-kilometer exclusion zone around the crater. A shower of ash fell in various districts around the volcano. The sky also darkened at times. Residents were asked to stay in their homes.

One of the most active volcanoes

According to measurements, the Marapi erupted for almost five minutes. According to the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazards (PVMBG), the volcano’s activity has increased since January. Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Sumatra. It last broke out in 2018. At that time, volcanic ash rose up to five kilometers above the crater height.

On the Indonesian main island of Java there is a volcano with a very similar name: Merapi, one of the most dangerous volcanoes on earth. The world’s largest island state lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, the most geologically active zone on earth. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur frequently along this belt. There are about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.


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