Deaths Reported After Volcanic Eruption in Indonesia

Deaths Reported After Volcanic Eruption in Indonesia

( – According to the United States Geological Survey, approximately 1,350 volcanoes remain active worldwide, and about 50 to 60 eruptions happen yearly. These explosions are responsible for an average of around 540 deaths per year. While many are on the smaller side, larger eruptions do happen, and many people die as a result. In Indonesia, Mount Marapi recently exploded, killing a number of people.

The eruption occurred in West Sumatra on Sunday, December 3. Dozens of people were hiking when the volcano went off, spewing ash 9,800 feet into the air. It was just one of 46 eruptions that occurred between Sunday and Monday and the deadliest since 1979 when 60 people died.

The eruption killed a number of people, with authorities recovering 22 bodies as of December 5, according to an Associated Press report. The report indicated one person remains missing, but due to the person’s last known location, authorities have presumed them dead, according to Edi Mardianto, a deputy police chief in the West Sumatra province. Rescue teams evacuated a further 52 people from the site, many with injuries, including burns and a broken bone.

According to reports, Hendra Gunawan, who heads up the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation, said that because of the active alert indicating the volcano was more active than usual, “there should be no climbing to the peak.” However, many people break “the rules to fulfill their satisfaction to climb further.” But only local authorities and the environmental ministry can enforce those rules.

Its location in the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire” means Indonesia is no stranger to volcanic activity, with around 130 active volcanoes in the region. Gunawan said the activity on Mount Marapi is hard to predict “because the source is near the surface,” making it difficult to use equipment to pinpoint when another eruption will occur. However, the volcano has regularly erupted since 2004 and became active in January, when it last exploded. There were no casualties at that time.

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