JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Gushing hot lava from an erupting volcano killed six people sleeping in a beach village on an eastern Indonesian island on Saturday, after ash and smoke shot up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) into the air, officials said.
Mount Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara province erupted early Saturday morning, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Nearly 3,000 people were evacuated from the area on Palue island, located north of Flores island. The volcano has been rumbling since last October.
The victims included three adults and two children, said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, adding that the age of the sixth person killed was unclear. He said that the adults' bodies were recovered from Ponge beach in Rokirole village, but that the children's were not.
Video footage on Indonesia's TVOne showed giant plumes of white and gray smoke and ash belching from the volcano into a sunny blue sky. Prior to Saturday's eruption, many residents had already been moved to safer areas.
Mount Rokatenda is one of about 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that's home to some 240 million people. The country is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. T