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13 climbers killed following Indonesian volcano eruption

December 5, 2023

(CNN) – Thirteen climbers have died and another 10 are missing in Indonesia following the eruption of a highly active volcano in the province of West Sumatra, officials said on Tuesday.

Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has 127 active volcanos – more volcanoes than anywhere else in the world – and Mount Marapi is among the country’s most active.

The 2,891-meter-high (9,500 feet) volcano erupted on Sunday, spewing volcanic ash and sending giant plumes of smoke into the sky.

Search and rescue efforts remain underway, with the bodies that have been recovered being brought down the mountain, according to Abdul Malik, the head of the recovery teams in West Sumatra.

He told CNN earlier that a team of 40 rescuers was on the mountain while eruptions were still taking place.

Three climbers have been found alive, Malik said.

A total of 75 people, including the climbers, have so far been evacuated, and those injured were sent to hospital, according to an update issued on Monday morning local time.

Photos from the region showed cars, roads and entire villages seen covered in ash.

Officials monitoring Marapi’s movements told CNN affiliate CNN Indonesia of potential dangers from Sunday’s eruption, including flowing molten lava which could reach roads and nearby rivers.

Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes on Sumatra island and its most deadly eruption was in April 1979, when 60 people died, according to Reuters.

Following the latest eruption, authorities have raised the second highest alert and barred all activities within 2 miles of Marapi’s crater from being carried out.

Ada Setiawan, an official with Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) told Reuters that masks had been distributed to residents and encouraged them to stay indoors.

Climbing routes and trails have also been closed, officials said.

A student walks as Mount Marapi volcano spews volcanic ash as seen from Nagari Batu Palano in Agam, West Sumatra province, Indonesia, December 4. (Photo: Antara Foto/Iggoy el Fitra/Reuters)


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