Saturday, August 10, 2013

Indonesia's Mt Rokatenda (Paluweh) Erupts, Killing 6

Indonesia's Mount Rokatenda erupted today, killing 6 and evacuating over 3000 from the island of Pulaweh. The volcano had been showing signs of unrest since October 2012. Three adults and two children are confirmed dead, while the sixth person remains unidentified. The bodies have not been recovered as the eruption is ongoing, and efforts are focused on evacuations.  The bodies of two adults have since been recovered, however the bodies of the children remain on the island.

It was later confirmed that the victims were killed by pyroclastic flow, one of the most deadly and swift effects of explosive eruptions. Those who have been evacuated will be relocated to nearby Flores Island.



Google Earth image of Rokatenda (Paluweh) island


Image of the Eruption from NBCnews.com
From the images, the eruption appears to be explosive and pyroclastic in nature. Pyroclastic flows are able to accelerate when travelling over the ocean's or other water bodies' surface. The island is about 11 miles from the nearest shore. It would be inadvisable to stay near this shore until activity calms down. If any updates are posted, I will update this post.

Idonesia is part of the so-called "Ring of Fire' a 'loop' of volcanoes spanning the boundaries of the Pacific tectonic plate. Eruptions on the Ring of Fire are from some of the world's most active volcanoes



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