Science and TechNatural Disasters


Marapi volcano eruption in Indonesia claims 11 lives, 12 missing

Eleven climbers' bodies were found, and when the volcano erupted again Monday officials had to stop the search for the remaining 12 missing climbers.
Motorists ride past by as Mount Marapi spews volcanic materials during its eruption in Agam, West Sumatra, Indonesia.
Posted at 5:32 PM, Dec 04, 2023

Mount Marapi in Indonesia erupted, killing at least 11 climbers and injuring several more, while spreading volcanic ash across nearby villages.

Following the first eruption on Sunday, two climbing routes were shut down and 75 climbers were left stranded. Authorities were able to rescue 52, and eight of those rescued were rushed to hospital with injuries and burns, according to The Associated Press.

On Monday, 11 climbers' bodies were found, but the volcano erupted again and officials had to stop the search for the remaining 12 missing climbers. 

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency told AP that the volcano's eruption produced ash columns exceeding 9,800 feet in height, spreading hot ash clouds for several miles to nearby villages, covering them in volcanic debris.

Approximately 1,400 people live in the closest villages, Rubai and Gobah Cumantiang, which are located about 3.1 to 3.7 miles from Marapi's peak.

Marapi is one of over 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for its frequent seismic activity, and has been active since January.

Hendra Gunawan, the head of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation, tells AP that this eruption was "not preceded by a significant increase in volcanic earthquakes."

“Marapi eruptions are always sudden and difficult to detect using equipment because the source is near the surface,” Gunawan said, “This eruption was not caused by the movement of magma.”