Tourists evac­u­ated as vol­cano erupts

The Myanmar Times - - World -

RES­CUERS in In­done­sia were dis­patched yes­ter­day to evac­u­ate nearly 400 tourists, most of them for­eign­ers, af­ter a vol­cano erupted at one of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar hik­ing des­ti­na­tions, an of­fi­cial said.

Mount Baru­jani be­gan erupt­ing on Septem­ber 27, send­ing col­umns of ash and smoke shoot­ing 2 kilo­me­tres (1.2 miles) into the sky over Lom­bok is­land, a tourist hotspot to the im­me­di­ate east of Bali.

Nearly 400 peo­ple were recorded as hik­ing near Baru­jani – a smaller cone within the crater of Mount Rin­jani – when it be­gan erupt­ing, prompt­ing plans for their im­me­di­ate evac­u­a­tion, said na­tional dis­as­ter agency spokesper­son Su­topo Purwo Nu­groho.

Hik­ers have been told to keep at least 3 kilo­me­tres from the smoul­der­ing vol­cano, a key at­trac­tion on the multi-day trek to the sum­mit of Mount Rin­jani made by thou­sands of tourists ev­ery year.

Mr Nu­groho said 389 hik­ers were recorded as hav­ing en­tered the na­tional park since Septem­ber 25, the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of them for­eign­ers and their guides.

While most would have taken the of­fi­cial route to the sum­mit, res­cue teams sus­pected some hik­ers may have gone off-track and may still be out there, Mr Nu­groho added.

The threat level of the vol­cano was up­graded as Baru­jani sent plumes of smoke and hot ash into the at­mos­phere, but re­mains two steps from the high­est-risk cat­e­gory.

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