Volcanic eruption in New Zealand: one dead, likely to be more

UPDATE: 5 dead in volcanic blast from White Island. Police have said that they believe there are no survivors left on the island after reconnaissance flights showed “no signs of life had been seen at any point”.

Of the 50 tourists on the island at the time, Jacinda Ardern has confirmed 31 are in hospital.

Scott Morrison has issued a statement:

“Of the 24 ones, we have been able to ascertain overnight and this morning that 13 of those Australians are hospitalised across multiple hospitals in New Zealand. There are 11 Australians that are still unaccounted for, and that we fear of the five deceased persons, that three of those, up to three are Australians, but that is not yet confirmed.”

A volcano has erupted on New Zealand’s White Island leaving one dead and many unaccounted for.

Tourists were walking inside the rim of the monstrous White Island crater moments before the active volcano began spewing smoke and ash.

white island

One tourist has died after a volcano has erupted on New Zealand’s White Island. Police are struggling to locate more missing people.

White Island, or Whakaari, is located off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island and is one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Thus the crater is all the more alluring to tourists who spend hours hiking into the bowl to stand at the edge of the smoking throat.

The eruption began around 14:11 local time generating an ash plume that rose 3,700 metres above the vent.

On 3 December, geological hazard monitoring website GeoNet had warned “the volcano may be entering a period where eruptive activity is more likely than normal,” concluding however that “the current level of activity does not pose a direct hazard to visitors”.

So far reports suggest that 20 people have been injured out of a possible 50 on the island, according to Jacinda Ardern.

At 16:35 Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims confirmed that one person had died.

“And based on information we have, there are likely to be more,” he added.

The NZ Department of Conservation have confirmed with the NZ Herald that there was no staff on the island.

Furthermore, the operations director for St John Ambulance told Radio NZ that seven people – out of those taken off the island – were critically injured.

With all the recent fires raging across Australia’s East Coast and the prevalent smoke haze in Sydney, it feels like Mother Nature is literally seething and the world is coming to a grim miasmic end.

Our thoughts go out to the residents, emergency workers, and the families of tourists caught in the eruption. Stay posted as events unfold.