Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency's (BNPB) Operations Control Center (Pusdalops) has reported that the confirmed death toll from the eruption of Mount Marapi in West Sumatra has climbed to 15.

“Until Tuesday (December 5, 2023) at 10:28 p.m. local time, ten victims had been identified by the disaster victim identification (DVI) team,” head of data information and disaster communication at BNPB, Abdul Muhari, informed in Jakarta on Wednesday.

He said that five more victims are still being identified at Achmad Mochtar Regional Public Hospital (RSAM), Bukittinggi. With the addition of 15 victims, the number of hikers that remain to be evacuated has reached eight. Muhari said that a joint team is still conducting a search and rescue effort.

Mount Marapi is reported to have erupted 46 times. “The last eruption was recorded by a seismograph on Tuesday (December 5) at 6:24 a.m. local time, with a maximum amplitude of 25.1 mm and a duration of 80 seconds. The volcano still has an alert status, or is at Level II,” he informed.

Agam and Tanah Datar district BNPB offices, along with a joint team, are continuously monitoring Mount Marapi so that a quick evacuation can be conducted if larger volcanic activities occur.

Muhari urged citizens living around Mount Marapi to not perform any activities within three kilometers of the volcano's peak. He also asked citizens residing in the four sub-districts closest to the volcano's peak to reduce outdoor activities.

Citizens were advised to wear masks while carrying out activities outdoors, remain calm, not be provoked by unconfirmed or confusing reports, and not share any unverified information.

“Always follow instructions and advice from the regional government,” he said.

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Translator: Devi, Luthfia, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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