Rescuers battle for evacuation as Indonesian volcano toll rises

14:35, November 12, 2010      

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Members of a rescue team remove a body in the volcanic ash-covered Ngancar village in Sleman district, Indonesia's central Java province November 9, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Rescuers are battling to search for victims amid increasing intensity of volcanic activities that have killed 202 people, officials said on Friday.

Head of Search and Sescue Office in Central Java named only Marsono said that there were thousands of people in some sub- districts in Magelang district of Central Java, located in the dangerous zone (20 kilometers), still stayed there. "The subdistrict of Muntilan and others sub-districts in Magelang district are located in the radius of over 16 kilometrs from the volcano, the people there refuse to leave the area," Marsono told Xinhua.

Besides, he said that scores of people had returned to the dangerous zone, including sand miners and villagers who want to take care of their cattle and plants at home. "This is very dangerous for them, the hot ash could come at any time," said Marsono.

Searching was carried out when the intensity of the volcano activity weakened, he said.

"Our personel must be careful and watch closely on the possibility of hot ash to come, should there is sign on it, we must escape," said Marsono.

On Friday, rescuers have found eight more bodies and brought them to DR Sardjito hospital in Yogyakarta, spokesman of the hospital Trisno Heru Nugroho said.

The new finding brings the total fatalities to 202 as the latest data of the national Disaster and Mitigation Management Agency stood at 194 people on Thursday. As many as 498 people suffering froms serious injury still got medical treatment, the agency said.

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