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More than 500 hikers rescued from Indonesian volcano

By
Sommer Brokaw
Climbers descend Mount Rinjani during an evacuation Monday, a day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. Photo by EPA-EFE
Climbers descend Mount Rinjani during an evacuation Monday, a day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. Photo by EPA-EFE

July 31 (UPI) -- More than 500 hikers stranded on an Indonesian volcano have been rescued and evacuated, most safely, officials said Tuesday.

The hikers became trapped on Mount Rinjani after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's Lombok island Sunday, dislodging mountain rock and debris that trapped the climbers.

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National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement the Joint Evacuation Team evacuated 543 hikers from Mount Rinjani Lombok on Monday.

They included hikers from the United States, France, Germany, Thailand and The Netherlands, search and rescue officials said.

The hikers included 189 foreign tourists, 173 locals, 31 guides and 150 porters, "all healthy and safe," Sutopo said. They were rescued when crews found an alternate path that wasn't damaged by landslides.

"They were all tired, but in good condition and were checked by our medical teams on the ground upon arrival," Nugroho said.

Evacuation efforts continued Tuesday with rescuers retrieving six more hikers, officials said. They included three local tourists, two porters and a guide. Also retrieved was the body of one victim.

At 12,224 feet above sea level, Rinjani is the second-highest mountain in Indonesia, and is considered one of country's best sightseeing destinations.

The earthquake in Lombok killed at least 16 people and displaced more than 5,000, Sutopo said.

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