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6 Dead, 3,000 Flee as Indonesia's Mount Rokatenda Erupts (VIDEO & PHOTO).

Mount Rokatenda in the East NusaTenggara province of Indonesia erupted on Saturday morning, killing 6 sleeping people and causing 3,000 residents to flee Palue Island, the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency reported.

Three of the six victims are adults and two are children, while the age of the sixth victim has not yet been determined, said Purwo Nugroho of the agency. The adults' bodies were found on Ponge beach in Rokirole village, but the two children's body had not yet been recovered.

The volcano, which had been rumbling since October, spewed giant plumes of white and grey smoke and ash about 2 kilometres into the air. Many of the 3,000 left their homes to safer ground before the Saturday eruption.

A 3-kilometre exclusion zone was set up in October since the volcano first erupted, causing significant income loss from farming, trade and fishing among residents. On March, the volcano again erupted.

Frans Wangge, head of the volcano monitoring post, said the eruption lasted for seven minutes and the hot lave burned trees around the beach and villages, making it difficult for rescue groups to reach the areas where the victims died.

The search and rescue agency, local authorities and police and army officials are on their way to Palue Island to help with evacuations to Flores Island.

Mount Rokatenda is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia. It sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Aug 11, 2013
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