Fears death toll could rise after volcano eruption

2014-02-02 14:55
Residents run away to escape from hot volcanic ash clouds engulfing villages during the eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Indonesia's Sumatra island. (Chaideer Mahyuddin, AFP)

Residents run away to escape from hot volcanic ash clouds engulfing villages during the eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Indonesia's Sumatra island. (Chaideer Mahyuddin, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Karo - Indonesian officials searched through thick ash for bodies on Sunday after Mount Sinabung volcano erupted, killing at least 15 people, with the only sign of life an ownerless mobile phone ringing inside an abandoned bag.

Dark, searing clouds engulfed victims during the eruption on Saturday, leaving rescuers with little hope of finding survivors as they searched through ash up to 30cm thick.

Officials said about 170 people armed with chainsaws and oxygen apparatus spread out through the destruction in Sukameriah village, just 2.7km from Sinabung's crater, on Sunday before the search was called off.

"There's no sign of human life. All the crops were gone. Many houses were damaged and those still standing were covered in thick white ash. It was hard to walk in ash which nearly reached my calves," Gito, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP.

"We didn't find bodies but we picked up a bag belonging to one of the victims. The cellphone was ringing," he added.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Agency, was unable to put a figure to the number of people still missing, but said there was a "chance" that the death toll might rise.

Residents had been evacuated from the village, located in the "red zone" around the volcano where human activities are strictly banned.

"It's very dangerous and completely out of bounds. But many of the tourists still secretly went to the area to take photographs," disaster official Tri Budiarto said.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  volcanoes  |  natural disasters

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.