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» 08/12/2013
INDONESIA
East Nusa Tenggara: volcanic eruption kills six, displaces thousands
by Mathias Hariyadi
Mount Rokatenda continues to spew gas and lava. The dead (including two children) were surprised in their sleep. No significant reduction in the activity, expert warn, as the authorities remain on high alert. An earthquake is reported in eastern Indonesia; no tsunami warning issued.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Paluweh volcano (Mount Rokatenda) on Palu'e Island continues to spew lava and ashes, after erupting again last Saturday killing six, including two children whose bodies have not yet been recovered.

The volcano is located on an island in a remote area of eastern Indonesia and is difficult to reach-four hours by boat from the main island of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, which is the only Indonesian province with a Catholic majority in the world's most populous Muslim country.

The victims died in their sleep as ashes covered their temporary shelter on a beach in the village of Rokirole, Palu'e Island.

The thousands who have been displaced are waiting for the authorities to allow them to return home once the eruption stops. Meanwhile, the volcano continues to spew clouds of gas and dust, blanketing the small island (4-km radius).

As the authorities remain on high alert, there were no significant reductions in the activity, experts said.

Complicating matters, an earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Indonesia today, 800 km north-east of the volcano, rattling nerves even more.

However, no deaths or damage were reported so far, and no tsunami warning was issued.

On Palu'e, islanders have had to cope with the problems associated with their volcano for a long time. Rising to 875 metres above sea level, its biggest eruption in recent history dates back to 1928. On that occasion, a tsunami followed.

For the authorities, the island is a high-risk area; yet, most of its residents, who number in the thousands, have chosen to stay, believing that the mountain has to be cared for continuously to avert the danger of eruptions.

Indonesia is an archipelago of thousands of islands and atolls on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, part of what earth scientists call the "Ring of Fire".

The latter is characterised by intense volcanic and earthquake activity, due to the collision of several continental plates.

Many still vividly remember the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the region in December 2004, with the epicentre off the coast of Aceh, causing hundreds of thousands of victims throughout Asia.


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See also
02/05/2013 INDONESIA
Critical situation for 2,000 Catholics forced to flee by Mt Rokatenda's eruption
by Mathias Hariyadi
04/20/2013 INDONESIA
The hobbits? They lived in Asia
04/06/2006 INDONESIA
Second appeal to reopen case of three Catholics sentenced to death rejected
by Benteng Reges
12/29/2010 INDONESIA
Java, Bromo volcano erupts. 25 thousand people at risk
by Mathias Hariyadi
11/10/2010 INDONESIA
Central Java: Catholics open churches, schools and homes to refugees fleeing from volcano
by Mathias Hariyadi

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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