11 climbers killed as Indonesia volcano erupts, search on hold
Eleven climbers were on Dec 4 found dead in Indonesia following the eruption of Mount Merapi in West Sumatra.
The search to find 12 more missing was temporarily halted over safety concerns.
Three survivors were found on Dec 4, along with the bodies of the 11 climbers. They were among the 75 people who were in the area at the time of the eruption, said Mr Jodi Haryawan, spokesman for the local search and rescue team.
The 2,891m-high volcano spewed ash as high as 3km into the sky on Dec 3. The authorities have raised the alert to the second-highest level and prohibited residents from going within 3km of the crater.
Video footage showed a huge cloud of volcanic ash spread widely across the sky and cars and roads covered with ash.
A small eruption was taking place on Dec 4 and the search was suspended, Mr Jodi added. “It’s too dangerous if we continue searching now."
There were 49 climbers evacuated from the area earlier on Dec 4 and many were being treated for burns.
Merapi is one of the most-active volcanoes on Sumatra island and its most deadly eruption was in April 1979, when 60 people died.
In 2023, it erupted between January and February and was spewing ash around 75m-1,000m from the peak. – REUTERS