Indonesian officials report that a volcano that has been brewing since last October has officially erupted on Palue Island, a small eastern Indonesian island, killing four adults and six small children. The local disaster agency says it is more than likely that the bodies will not be able to be recovered, since they were buried under hot volcanic material.
The disaster agency further reports that explosions are continuing to be heard from the volcano’s peak, sending smoke approximately 600 yards into the sky.
With a population of nearly 10,000 people, nearly 3,000 people had been evacuated from the area, as a 3km exclusion zone was set up after the initial eruption in October; however, some residents refused to leave. Accustomed to the volcanic activity and rumbling sound, many villagers ignored the mandatory evacuation order.
Surono, a spokesman from Indonesia’s volcanology agency, says he urged villagers to stay away from the affected area, because it was difficult to predict if there would be further eruptions. As of now, all villagers have been evacuated away from the area of danger.
Indonesia is an area prone to volcanic eruption, as it lies on the Pacific “ring of fire,” says BBC News. The current volcano serves as a sad reminder of the nearly 350 people who died and 250,000 displaced when Mount Merapi in central Java erupted in 2010.
By: Kimberly Scott