In a heartbreaking incident, 21-year-old Ilham Nanda Bintang, a promising law student and avid hiker, lost his life in the tragic eruption of Mount Marapi in West Sumatra. On Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at around 18:18 WIB, his mortal remains reached the mourning house on Jalan Sepakat, in the Tenayan Raya district of Pekanbaru, greeted by the inconsolable tears of family and friends.
The Tragic Hiking Expedition
According to his brother-in-law, Dwi Kurnia Putra, Ilham, a seventh-semester law student at the Islamic University of Riau (UIR), embarked on the climb with six friends on Saturday afternoon, December 2, 2023. The family's last communication with Ilham was on the day before the hike. Following the eruption on Sunday, December 3, 2023, Ilham's phone went inactive, leaving the family in a state of helplessness and despair. They learned about the eruption through social media, but all subsequent attempts to reach Ilham proved futile.
The Eruption and Its Aftermath
Mount Marapi, one of Indonesia's 127 active volcanoes, erupted on Sunday, taking the lives of 23 hikers, including Ilham. The eruption shot plumes of ash 9,800 ft. into the air. A total of 75 hikers were in the vicinity of the 9,485 ft. volcano when it erupted. Rudy Rinaldi, head of the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency, stated that some of the survivors suffered burns due to the intense heat.
The Last Rites
Following the arrival of Ilham's remains at the mourning house, funeral prayers were held, and he was subsequently laid to rest at the public cemetery on Jalan Sudimoro, Tenayan Raya. Ilham's untimely demise has left a void in the hearts of his loved ones, marking a somber chapter in the history of Pekanbaru's hiking community.