Hundreds of tourists are unaccounted for after a volcano erupted on a holiday island.Mount Barujari, a sub peak of the 3,700m high Mount Rinjani, has been shooting ash thousands of metres into the air on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The volcano is a popular hiking destination for visitors from neighbouring Bali or the backpacking mecca of the Gili islands.
Officials say they believe more than 1,000 tourists were on the mountain at the time, 600 of whom were foreigners. Indonesia’s disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said officials had so far only been able to confirm 260 tourists had left the national park.
The majority of others are also believed to have left the area, but authorities have had difficulty counting them as they flooded out through unofficial exits. Mr Nugroho said some tourists have been unwilling to leave a 3km (two mile) safety zone, as they wanted to get pictures of the eruption.
He said: “Some tourists did not want to leave. They wanted to record the eruption of Barujari and in some cases hid from officials. They knew it was dangerous but they still wanted to document the eruption.”