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Eruption of Marapi: One of about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia

Photo: Antara Photo / REUTERS

After the eruption of the Marapi volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, eleven hikers have been found dead. Twelve others are still missing, the emergency services in the provincial capital Padang said. About 50 other hikers were brought to safety after the eruption. It is not yet known what exactly caused the victims' deaths.

The almost 3000-meter-high volcano had erupted early Sunday afternoon (local time) and had spewed an ash cloud about three kilometers high into the sky. The authorities immediately set up an exclusion zone of three kilometers around the crater. Ash fell in various districts around the volcano. The sky also darkened at times. Residents were asked to stay in their homes.

The activity of the Marapi has increased since January, according to the center. Marapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Sumatra. It last erupted in 2018. At that time, volcanic ash rose up to five kilometers above the crater height.

The world's largest island nation is located on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, the most geologically active zone on earth. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions often occur along this belt. There are about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

bbr/dpa/AP