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Volcanic eruption in Indonesia already claims 22 lives

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The death toll after the eruption of the Marapi volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has risen to 22. Rescue workers were able to find nine additional bodies on Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 2:58 PM

The search for missing hikers on Mount Marapi has been difficult in recent days due to regular eruptions, but was resumed on Tuesday despite five new eruptions. Rescue workers were able to find the bodies of nine missing hikers. A tenth person is still missing. The search for him would continue on Wednesday. Twelve other injured hikers are being treated in hospital.

“Nine of the ten missing victims were found dead this afternoon. Their bodies are evacuated. One more victim is being sought,” confirmed Abdul Malik, director of Padang city rescue services.

© EPA-EFE

The eruption sent ash up to three kilometers into the air. Dozens of hikers near the volcano had to be evacuated. The Marapi volcano is 2,891 meters high and is the most active volcano in Indonesia. Volcanic ash had fallen in Bukittinggi, the third largest city in Sumatra with 100,000 inhabitants.

Huge trauma

Meanwhile, images of survivors filming themselves shortly after the eruption and desperately pleading for help are also circulating online. In one video we see a woman completely covered in a thick layer of ash and dirt, in another we see nineteen-year-old Zhafirah Zahrim Febrina addressing her mother: “Mommy, help me.”

Febrina, who was hiking the mountain with 18 school friends, was tracked down by rescue services and taken to a local hospital for treatment. Her mother, Rani Radelani, said her daughter had undergone “tremendous trauma”.

© via REUTERS

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