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Tragic End to Indonesia’s Mount Marapi Eruption As 23 Confirmed Dead

Most of the hikers were promptly evacuated, but the eruption resulted in numerous injuries and burns.

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The aftermath of the volcanic eruption on Indonesia’s Mount Marapi has taken a grim toll as rescuers recover the body of the last missing hiker, bringing the total death count to 23. The search for the remaining 10 missing hikers resumed after safety concerns briefly paused the efforts.

Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency announced on Wednesday that the final body was found, closing a chapter on the tragic incident. Mount Marapi, known as the “Mountain of Fire,” erupted on Sunday, spewing a massive 3km (9,800ft) ash cloud into the air. The volcanic activity blanketed surrounding villages in ash and caught 75 hikers in the area.

Most of the hikers were promptly evacuated, but the eruption resulted in numerous injuries and burns. Twelve victims are currently undergoing treatment in hospitals. The search and rescue operation faced challenges due to the dangerous conditions, but the joint team persisted in their efforts.

Abdul Malik, head of the Padang Search and Rescue Agency, informed reporters that “the joint search and rescue team has found one victim of the Mount Marapi eruption, who is now in the process of being evacuated.” The National Search and Rescue Agency identified the last hiker as a woman.

Mount Marapi, one of Indonesia’s 127 volcanoes, is renowned for its activity and attracts hikers. Some trails had only reopened in June after being closed due to ash eruptions earlier in the year. The volcano’s deadliest eruption occurred in 1979, claiming the lives of 60 people.

Survivors shared harrowing experiences, with one recounting suffering broken bones from falling rocks and being briefly blinded by thick black smoke during the chaotic escape. The tragic event underscores the unpredictable nature of volcanic activity in the region and the ongoing risks faced by those living and exploring near active volcanoes.

Kiki Garba

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