Mount Rokatenda shot smoke and ash as high as 6,560 feet into the air in its largest eruption since it began rumbling in October 2012. The victims of the volcano included three adults and two children, with the sixth victim not yet identified. Hot ash covered a nearby beach, giving the victims no time to find shelter.
While a 3 kilometer exclusionary zone had been created to keep people away from the dangerous volcano, the BBC reports that "many villagers had become accustomed to the volcanic activity and ignored the mandatory evacuation order."
Almost 3,000 people have been evacuated from the island, which lies in the heart of the Pacific's "Ring of Fire." In a similar eruption in 2010, at least 350 people died from lava and ash after Mount Merapi became active in Java.