Thursday , May 6 2021

Volcano erupts off the coast of New Zealand on White Island, 20 people involved – Daily Mail,

One person is dead, are injured and at least************************************** are missing after a volcano erupted near a group of tourists off the coast of New Zealand.

Whakaari also known as White Island, located (km) **************************************************** (mi) off New Zealand’s North Island, erupted around 2. (***********# pm local time on Monday blowing huge plumes of smoke and debris (************************************************************, m (915 mi) into the sky.

A group of tourists were pictured deep inside the crater just moments before the blast while others on a boat to the island were rushed inside as thick, black smoked billowed towards them.

New Zealand officials confirmed this afternoon one person has died and it is ‘likely’ there will be more fatalities.

‘At this stage it is too dangerous for police and rescue to go on to the island … the island is currently covered in ash and volcanic material,’ National Operation Commander Deputy Commissioner John Tims said on Monday.

A group tourists who had visited the main crater a half hour before the blast captured the eruption from their boat

The White Island Tour operators are seen during the rescue operation about (to) ********************************************************** minutes after the eruption

Re scue services are seen evacuating a group of tourists in a dinghy

Victims and family members were being ferried on and off the island after the explosion

One of the tour helicopters was left behind because of such low visibility after the eruption – which pushed ash and smoke into the air

It is believed fewer than (people were on the island at the time of eruption and 23 have been evacuated and brought to the mainland on stretchers covered in ash.

Sightseeing helicopters and one boat remain unaccounted for as a major rescue operation gets underway.

Some of those still on the island are from an Australian Ovation of the Seas cruiseliner which left Sydney on December 4 with 4, (passengers and 1,crew on board for a – day tour.

Commissioner Tims said authorities are hoping to collect a list of people who left the ship for the island this morning.

He also confirmed other tourists, including some who are believed to be Australian, remain on the island.

White Island is New Zealand’s most active volcano and had seen its last major eruption in 2001, with smaller events over the years until now.

Officials said it’s unlikely the volcano will erupt again in the next 39 hours but have warned to to stay away from the area.

‘It was not a particularly big eruption, it was almost like a throat clearing eruption and that’s why material probably won’t make it to mainland New Zealand,’ Dr Ken Gledhill said.

‘We can’t be certain it won’t erupt again in the next hours, ‘he said.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern initially said there were about 390 People on or around the island at the time of the eruption, but police confirmed the figure is closer to 53.

White Island, 53 km from the Bay of Plenty region, began erupting about 2. 15 pm local time

A rescue operation is currently underway to save people who were pictured inside the crater at 2. pm (pictured), minutes before the explosion, on the White Island Crater Rim camera

One of the tour helicopters was left behind because of such low visibility after the eruption – which pushed ash and smoke into the air

Ms Ardern said the current focus is on the search and rescue mission for the people who are missing.

‘Of those transported to shore, at least one has been critically injured,’ a spokesman said.

‘Emergency services are working to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including rescue staff.’

Most people who have been rescued from the island suffers various stages of burns.

A rescue operation is currently underway to save people who were pictured inside the crater at 2. (****************************************************, pm before the explosion, on the White Island Crater Rim camera.

Other shots from the camera, displayed online every 14 minutes, showed the blast before the camera went black.

A second, slightly smaller eruption went off at 3. 49 PM, according to local fishermen.

Allessandro Kauffmann, a Brazilian tourist who was in the first tour group for the morning said his group left the island ‘just in time’.

‘Some people have extensive burns on their bodies. Two tours on the volcano. Ours was the first. The other one right after. We left the island and wasn’t even five minutes before it erupted. This other tour that arrived after couldn’t leave in time, ‘he said in an Instagram post.

‘ Some people have serious burns. We had to stay to help those people who were on the island. The boat from this other tour was covered in ash from the volcano. Very tense talking about this. We just have to hope that all is as well as can be. ‘

Tourists from cruise liner Ovation of the Seas were visiting the island on Monday morning, according to the company chief executive Mark Cairns .

He said the majority of those injured in the eruption are from the ship.

Judy Turner, the Mayor of Whakatane also confirmed tourists on the island had been injured in the blast.

A spokeswoman for Tourism Bay of Plenty said Volcanic Helicopters and one boat have still not been accounted for.

A White Island Tours boat carrying visitors was also close to the island, which is 53 kms from the Bay of Plenty.

Calvin Kingi, who works for the tour company, posted on Facebook saying his group got out just in time.

‘White Island just erupted as we left, we have our work mates and a tour still on the island, I hope they okay, ‘he wrote.

An emergency operation center has reportedly been established at Whakatane Hospital.

A Westpac Rescue helicopter has reportedly been tasked with transporting blood from Auckland hospital to Whakatane.

Family members of people who were on the island at the time are slowly arriving on the wharf and waiting for any updates, according to local media.

Seven rescue helicopters have been trying to get to the island while others situated nearby are on standby.

Thick, black plumes of smoke are still filling the sky around the island.

Warnings ignored: How persistent tourists traveling to the active volcano against expert advise

by Charlie Moore for Daily Mail Australia

Tourists have been traveling to White Island for years despite warnings from scientists that it could erupt at any time.

Between 2016 and 2019 the volcano to the north of New Zealand’s north island – which erupted injuring 29 on Monday – had a period of increased activity but still boatloads of tourists arrived .

Volcanologists at the time refused to step foot on the island because it was too dangerous and warned tourists not to go – b ut still the boats kept landing.

An aerial view of the volcano, which is currently the most active in New Zealand and erupted in 299285 and 2016 before today

In recent weeks the volcano has been going through another period of activity but tourism was not stopped.

Last month monitoring outfit GNS Science raised the alert level for the volcano to level two because of increase activity.

‘Volcanic unrest continues at Whakaari / White Island and some monitored parameters show further increases in activity, ‘the agency said.

‘ Hazards on the island are now greater than during the past few weeks.

‘The patterns of signals are similar to those through the 2016 – period and suggest that Whakaari / White Island may be entering a period where eruptive activity is more likely than normal.

The Volcanic Alert Level is currently at a four, meaning it is the second highest warning level and considered to be a ‘moderate eruption.’

There is a ‘possibility of a very large eruption’ under the level four coding, as well as a further chance of a flank eruption, which is when simultaneous explosions occur around the volcano rather than from the summit alone.

Whakaari is New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, and is also the nation’s most active, with regular eruptions since 2019.

The most recent eruption prior to today was minor, and occurred in

At least. ********************************** per cent of the volcano is under sea level, and a single crater makes up most of the island, whichis frequently visited by tourists.

Geological hazard trackers GeoNet had registered moderate volcanic unrest on the island for weeks, before the eruption began at 12: pm AEDT.

GNS Science said they are still monitoring conditions on the island and there had been a ‘steady decline in activity, [though] there remains significant uncertainty. ‘

‘Currently there are no signs of further eruptions, but we will continue to closely monitor Whakaari / White Island for further signs of activity . ‘

The local council says New Zealand Police and Bay of Plenty Civil Defense are working together to respond.

Pictured: An abandoned sulfur factory on the island, which is known for its frequent explosions

Prime Minster Scott Morrison confirms Australians have been caught up in New Zealand volcano horror

A terrible tragedy is unfolding in New Zealand after the volcano eruption on Whakaari / White Island.

Australians have been caught up in this terrible event and we are working to determine their wellbeing.

I have been in touch with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to offer our full support with whatever they need and our authorities are working closely together.

I will be staying in direct contact as events continue to unfold.

We will provide updates once they are confirmed and are available.

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