Indonesia rescuers evacuate all climbers from Marapi volcano after eruption killed 23

By Aidil Ichlas

TANAH DATAR, Indonesia (Reuters) – Rescuers have evacuated all of the climbers who were trapped on Indonesia’s Marapi volcano, a spokesperson for the search and rescue agency said on Wednesday, after it erupted this week, killing 23 people.

There were 75 climbers at the time on 2,891-metre (9484.91 ft) high Marapi, one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes, when it began spewing gray clouds of ash as high as 3 kilometres (2 miles) into the sky on Sunday.

Jody Haryawan, a spokesperson for the rescue team, said one missing climber was found on Wednesday afternoon. On Tuesday, the rescuers evacuated 22 bodies from the volcano.

All the climbers were accounted for, following the rescue earlier of dozens, many of whom were wounded or burned by the eruption.

The evacuation process was hampered by the difficult terrain and seven small eruptions, Jody said.

On Wednesday, a funeral was held for 20-year-old climber Yasirli Amri in the village of Turawan in West Sumatra’s Tanah Datar region.

A video that Yasirli filmed of herself awaiting rescue after the volcano erupted went viral in social media. In it, she is seen lying down, her face caked in thick, grey ash, as she struggles to breathe.

“My sister was still holding her mobile phone and she tried to ask for help through social media,” Yasirli’s brother, Fransua Mitra said at the funeral, adding it was her first time climbing a mountain.

Her close friend, Ridho Maulana Putra, described her as “a good person and always smiling.”

Sunday’s eruption of Marapi was the deadliest since 1979, when an eruption killed 60 people. It last erupted in January and February this year.

Indonesia straddles the so-called “Ring of Fire”, which is home to more than 100 active volcanoes.

(Reporting by Ananda Teresia in Jakarta; Writing by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Bernadette Baum)