The unexpected eruption over the weekend caught many climbers off guard, with the initial blast on Sunday propelling dense ash clouds up to 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) into the sky.
Abdul Malik, the head of the Padang Search and Rescue Agency, informed The Associated Press that over 50 climbers were rescued following the first eruption, and 11 bodies were recovered. However, subsequent eruptions on Monday and Tuesday led to the discovery of 11 more bodies.
Rescue operations have been severely impeded by the hot ash enveloping the air and the extreme heat conditions.
Despite these challenges, officials are persisting in their search for a missing climber, who is feared dead due to their proximity to the eruption site, as reported by Edi Mardianto, the deputy police chief in West Sumatra province, to the AP.
The exact number of individuals stranded by the eruption remains uncertain. Local authorities have conceded that many climbers may have ascended beyond the permitted limit, and villagers might have been in the vicinity at the time of the eruption.
Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation mandates that climbers and villagers maintain a distance of more than 1.8 miles from the peak.
This directive was issued after Marapi was placed on the third highest of four alert levels for volcanic activity in 2011.
Approximately 1,400 residents inhabit Marapi’s slopes in the closest villages of Rubai and Gobah Cumantiang, located about 3 to 3.7 miles from the peak.
Marapi, situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," is notorious for its abrupt eruptions. The volcano has been active since a January eruption, which fortunately did not result in any casualties.
The Report Includes Information from The Associated Press.