Rokatenda Volcano Kills Five, Still Spewing Lava And Ash

Mount Rokatenda Volcano

The Rokatenda Volcano killed five people over the weekend. Latest reports indicate the Palue Island volcano continues to spew lava and ash.

Saturday night’s eruption reached over one mile into the air. The original death toll from the eruption was reported as six. However, the numbers have been revised.

As reported by EurAsia Review, authorities are now concentrating their efforts on evacuation. Close to 500 people, from two villages, were taken to a shelter on another island.

Unfortunately, many residents have refused to leave their homes. They are concerned that their property and livestock will be destroyed if they leave the island.

According to Palue Island tradition, their presence will keep the villages safe from flowing lava.

As reported by The Weather Channel, The Rokatenda Volcano started showing signs of increased activity last fall. Authorities issued an advisory, and determined a safety zone around the volcano’s perimeter.

Despite local folklore, nearly 12,000 people left the island before the end of the year.

Rescue teams report that they are still trying to evacuate nearly 2,500 people. Some officials are concerned about further eruption. Residents within two miles of the Rokatends Volcano may be at risk.

Evacuation efforts have been hampered by a layer of lava and ash. In addition to the debris, a bridge on a major route has collapsed. Six villages still need to be evacuated.

A government volcanologist, named Surono, states that The Rokatenda Volcano is still under a high alert. He explains that the volcano continues to spew ash and lava.

Palue is a Indonesian island that is just over two miles long. Mount Rokatenda is located in the “Ring of Fire.” It is one of nearly 130 active volcanoes in the region.

Palue Island has experienced eruptions in the past. However the lava usually flows in a southern direction. In the latest eruption, the lava flowed north toward a beach. The five victims, which included two children, were asleep when the Rokatenda Volcano erupted. The bodies of the children have not been recovered.

[Image via Flickr]