11 hikers found dead after Indonesia volcano eruption

At least 11 hikers have been found dead after a volcano erupted in western Indonesia.

A local rescue official disclosed this on Monday.

Mount Marapi on the island of Sumatra, with a peak of 2,891 metres (9,484 feet), erupted on Sunday sending a tower of ash 3,000 metres into the sky.

“There are 26 people who have not been evacuated, we have found 14 of them, three were found alive and 11 were found dead,” said Abdul Malik, head of Padang Search and Rescue Agency, speaking a day after the eruption.

He said there were a total of 75 hikers on the mountain from Saturday who rescue workers were trying to account for.

Twelve were still missing and 49 had descended, some of whom had been taken to hospital, he said.

Rescue teams were working through the night to help bring mountaineers down to safety, West Sumatra’s natural resources conservation agency said.

Rudy Rinaldi, head of the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency told AFP some of the rescued hikers were receiving medical treatment.

“Some suffered from burns because it was very hot, and they have been taken to the hospital.

“Those who are injured were the ones who got closer to the crater,” he said.

Marapi is on the second alert level of Indonesia’s four-step system and authorities have imposed a three-kilometre exclusion zone around its crater.

The Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

The Southeast Asian country has nearly 130 active volcanoes.