Home WorldAsia Search Operation Ceases in Indonesia Following Volcanic Eruption Resulting in 23 Fatalities

Search Operation Ceases in Indonesia Following Volcanic Eruption Resulting in 23 Fatalities

Authorities confirmed that each individual who was reported missing has been found and successfully evacuated, whether they were deceased or alive.

by Jamsheera
Volcano eruption in Indonesia

Jakarta: Indonesian authorities announced on Thursday the conclusion of the search and rescue mission for missing or deceased hikers following a weekend volcanic eruption that claimed the lives of 23 individuals.

Mount Marapi, located on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia’s western region, emitted a towering ash column of 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) — surpassing the volcano’s own height — on Sunday while 75 people were hiking in the vicinity.

Numerous individuals were successfully rescued, but the challenging rescue operation, hindered by additional volcanic eruptions and adverse weather conditions, resulted in the discovery of 23 deceased individuals, with the last fatality recorded on Wednesday evening.

Authorities expressed confidence that all missing persons had been located and evacuated, whether alive or deceased. Initial concerns about individuals potentially using unofficial hiking routes and remaining unaccounted for were alleviated.

Explorers in the region are required to register with local authorities through an online booking system, involving a nominal fee and adherence to designated entry points.

“All victims have been located, with the last one found deceased. Consequently, following an evaluation, the search and rescue operation, led by Basarnas, is officially concluded,” stated Ichwan Pratama, an official from the Agam disaster mitigation agency, on Thursday.

“We will maintain an active emergency post in case there are families still in search of their relatives; they are encouraged to come here with valid data.”

Edi Mardianto, the deputy chief of West Sumatra police, announced on Wednesday evening that all rescuers would “return to their respective units.”

Hendra Gunawan, the chief of Indonesia’s volcanology agency, stated that Mount Marapi has held the second level on a four-tier alert system since 2011, with a three-kilometer exclusion zone enforced around its crater.

Gunawan seemed to attribute the eruption aftermath to hikers, indicating that they ventured too close to the crater despite the agency’s recommendation against any activity in that specific area.

Indonesia, situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” encounters regular seismic and volcanic events due to the collision of tectonic plates in the region.

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