Mount Rokatenda’s Volcanic Eruption Kills 6 People in Sleep (Representational Image)
Mount Rokatenda’s Volcanic Eruption Kills 6 People in Sleep (Reuters)Reuters

A catastrophic scene was witnessed at Mount Rokatenda, Indonesia on Saturday after a volcano erupted, emanating gigantic smoke and burying six persons, including two children under the spewed hot lava and ash.

The Mount Rotakenda's volcanic eruption on Palume islands was recorded on Saturday morning, leaving the nearby Ponge beach covered in ashes and molten lava.

According to disaster officials, those six people killed were supposedly asleep when the volcanic explosion occurred.

The explosion effect led volcanic clouds to a height of 1,500 and 2,000 meters said Tini Thadeus of National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The local media recorded the huge white and gray clouds engulfing the sky.

The eruption is said to have lasted for seven minutes during which it spewed ashes and clouds up to 2 kilometers in the air.

The mountain located east of Jakarta and its fringes (up to 3km) was already evacuated since last October when the volcano started rumbling. But local authorities informed that some people continued to live in the area unhindered despite the evacuation, thus risking their lives. 

Yoseph Ansar Rara, chief of Sikka District, who oversees the island said, "We will see the best steps to be taken, but clearly they have to be evacuated," reported The Associated Press (AP).

Meanwhile, a report in Jakarta Post said that explosion had claimed five lives which were further confirmed by Palue district head, Marten Adji, "Only three of the five bodies have been recovered and the other two have not been accounted for." The status of the sixth death could not be confirmed immediately.

Mount Rokatenda is one of the 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a country which falls demographically in a vulnerable area characterised by violent earthquakes and regular volcanic activities.