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