6 people from the village Rokirole on Paluweh island died on Saturday August 10th, after the Paluweh volcano started to erupt 04:27 local time. They were probably caught in a pyroclastic flow sent down to the beach by a partial collapse of the Rerombola lava dome. Before the deaths occured there had been a partial evacuation of the island, among the evacuated villages was the one where the deaths occured. It is unclear if the dead villagers had returned against the advisory.
Paluweh has historically erupted from the Rokatenda crater. It mainly suffers from mild to medium sized eruptions (VEI-1 to VEI-3 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index). The volcano has during larger eruptions caused landslide induced tsunamis and pyroclastic flows and is known for extensive dome building and subsequent collapses. The lava is mainly a basaltic-andesite with a silicic content around 60 percent.
Currently the Indonesian Mitigation Authority is conducting an even larger evacuation of the entire island. It is though uncertain if the local inhabitants will evacuate or not.
Many photos and a video about the brittle new Rerombola lava dome can be found on Photovolcanica: http://www.photovolcanica.com/VolcanoInfo/Paluweh/Paluweh.html
Paluweh is an island in the Lesser Sunda Straight in Indonesia. The stratovolcano summit is 875 m high, rising a further 3000 m above the seabed. According to the GVP (http://www.volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=264150) the volcano had 8 confirmed historic eruptions, the last one before 2012 was reported in February 1985.
Peter Cobbold first pointed out the eruption of Paluweh volcano which started at 04:27 on Saturday local time and lasted for nearly four hours. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23646467
The Jakarta Post reports that “hot lava” flowed from Woje Wubi to Punge beach in Rokirole village. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/08/10/mt-rokatenda-ntt-erupts-reportedly-killing-five.html
Granyia pointed out this link to a video of Paluweh´s eruption December 2012: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5ad_1356171749
News about Paluweh can be found on volcanodiscovery: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/paluweh/news.html
Citing the VAAC Darwin reports ash advisory of FL140 (14000 feet = 4267 m) http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDD41290.shtml meaning an eruption column of about 3.39 km above the summit. Geolurking calculated an estimated mass ejection rate of 8.93m³/s using Mastin et al (2009) (A multidisciplinary effort to assign realistic source parameters to models of volcanic ash-cloud transport and dispersion during eruptions).
As of 2013/08/11 the ash plume was last observed to FL060 http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDD65290.shtml
According to the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) Paluweh volcano (Rokatenda) is on orange alert.
The evacuation of the people of 4 of the 8 villages is ongoing with two motor boats: http://id.berita.yahoo.com/rokatenda-meletus-warga-palue-diungsikan-105921037.html
CHRYPHIA & CARL