Mount Rokatenda
Mount Rokatenda Independent News & Media

At least six killed as Indonesian volcano erupts

AT LEAST six people have died during a volcano eruption on a remote Indonesian island, which shot smoke and ash up to 2,000 metres into the air.

Those killed were sleeping on a beach on the island of Palue when Mount Rokatenda - which has been rumbling since October 2012 - erupted.

The country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the eruption occurred early this morning.

An agency spokesman said the victims included three adults and two children. The age of the sixth person killed was unclear and that the children's bodies had not been recovered from Ponge beach in Rokirole village.

Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated from the area. the island is about 4km wide, and 1,250 miles east of the capital, Jakarta.

The archipelago nation, home to 240 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.