Indonesia volcano death toll rises to 13: official

AGAM – The total number of hikers found dead after a volcano eruption in Indonesia has risen to 13 after two more bodies were found, a local rescue official said Tuesday.

“The total number of people who have died is currently 13,” Abdul Malik, head of Padang Search and Rescue Agency told AFP, adding that 10 hikers were still missing, while 52 have been evacuated.

The bodies of the two hikers were found late Monday, he added.

The rescue mission is being hampered by further volcanic activity and bad weather.

“The volcanic ash has reached the foot of the hill, which is a challenge for the team. Both routes will be steep and slippery,” Malik said.

Eleven dead hikers were found Monday near the crater of Mount Marapi on the island of Sumatra, while several others were found alive and carried down the mountain.

The volcano spewed an ash tower 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) — taller than the volcano itself — into the sky on Sunday.

Mount Marapi, which means ‘Mountain of Fire’, is the most active volcano on Sumatra island.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

The archipelago nation has nearly 130 active volcanoes. – AFP