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Indonesia’s Marapi Volcano Eruption

Indonesia’s Mount Marapi, located in West Sumatra, recently erupted, leading to a tragic incident resulting in the loss of lives and the disappearance of several climbers. The eruption occurred on December 3, 2023, catching many by surprise as authorities scrambled to evacuate those in the vicinity.

The Eruption and Immediate Aftermath

As Mount Marapi unleashed its fury, a massive cloud of volcanic ash blanketed the sky and debris covered roads and vehicles. The eruption took place with 75 people in the area and while efforts were made to evacuate, 26 individuals were left behind. Abdul Malik, the head of the Padang Search and Rescue Agency, reported that out of the 26, only 14 have been accounted for, with three survivors and a devastating 11 casualties.

Search and Rescue Operations

Video footage captured during the eruption showcased the severity of the incident, hindering rescue operations. The footage revealed the challenging conditions faced by rescue workers as they navigated through the ash-covered terrain. Unfortunately, a minor eruption on the following day forced a temporary suspension of the rescue efforts, adding complexity to an already dire situation.

Geological Context

Indonesia is situated on the “Ring of Fire,” a volatile tectonic region known for its seismic and volcanic activity. The country boasts 127 active volcanoes and Mount Marapi, standing at 2,891 meters (approximately 9,500 feet), is among the most active on Sumatra. Currently at the second-highest alert level on Indonesia’s four-step warning scale, the volcano has a history of eruptions, with the deadliest recorded in 1979, claiming the lives of 60 people.

Human Impact and Unanswered Questions

The tragedy raises concerns about the preparedness and response mechanisms in place for such natural disasters. Questions loom about the adequacy of evacuation plans and the overall safety measures implemented for climbers and residents in volcanic-prone areas. As families grieve the loss of their loved ones and anxiously await news of the missing, the incident prompts a reflection on the need for improved disaster management strategies.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q1. When did the eruption of Mount Marapi in West Sumatra occur?

Sol. The eruption took place on December 3, 2023.

Q2. How many people were in the area during the eruption and how many were left behind?

Sol. Seventy-five people were in the area and unfortunately, 26 individuals were left behind.

Q3. How many casualties and survivors have been accounted for so far?

Sol. Out of the 26 individuals left behind, there are 11 casualties and three survivors.


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