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New Zealand volcano spews ash plume in eruption, several injured, tourists unaccounted for

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New Zealand volcano spews ash plume in eruption, several injured

 

2019-12-09T045443Z_1_LYNXMPEFB808J_RTROPTP_3_NEWZEALAND-VOLCANO.JPG

An aeriel view shows smoke bellowing above the crater of Whakaari, also known as White Island, volcano as it erupts in New Zealand, December 9, 2019, in this image obtained via social media. GNS Science via REUTERS

 

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A volcano erupted in New Zealand on Monday, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying tourists were among several people unaccounted for as emergency services mounted a rescue operation.

 

As many as 100 people were in the vicinity when the eruption began about 2:11 p.m. (0111 GMT) on White Island, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the east coast of North Island, authorities said, sending up smoke visible from the mainland.

 

"We believe 100 people were on or around the island," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference, adding that a rescue operation had begun, although it was too early to confirm any injuries or deaths.

 

"A number of people are reportedly injured and are now being transported to shore," she added. "It does appear to be a very significant issue...particularly the scale of people affected, at this stage."

 

Many of those affected could be tourists, she said.

 

"I'm not sure if these people were on the island or near it, but there was definitely one group out there and they definitely needed medical care," said Judy Turner, the mayor of the coastal town of Whakatāne, near White Island.

 

"There were some injuries and the focus is on getting these injured people back safely and to get them to a hospital."

 

There seemed to be no danger for people in coastal areas farther away, she added.

 

The island's immediate surroundings were hazardous because of the eruption, the National Emergency Management Agency said in an statement, adding that falling ash might affect some areas.

 

The "short-lived eruption" threw an ash plume about 12,000 ft (3,658 m) high, New Zealand's geoscience agency GNS Science said in a statement, but added there were no current signs of an escalation.

 

The White Island volcano is one of New Zealand's most active.

 

Graphic: Map locating White Island in New Zealand 

 

White%20Island.jpg

 

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Clarence Fernandez)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-12-09
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30 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

I'm not far from it, but heard nothing, saw no smoke, no one said anything about it. Can't have been a very large eruption.

It is an active volcano and better for them to have minor eruptions to release the energy as makes it more likely not to have a major one. If it were to do a Krakatoa I won't be around to write about it, nor most of the people in the Bay of Plenty.

One of the truly beautiful places in the world.

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47 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

I'm not far from it, but heard nothing, saw no smoke, no one said anything about it. Can't have been a very large eruption.

It is an active volcano and better for them to have minor eruptions to release the energy as makes it more likely not to have a major one. If it were to do a Krakatoa I won't be around to write about it, nor most of the people in the Bay of Plenty.

It's about 50 km from the coast which is quite some distance....even if you were at the closest point I am not sure you would hear anything, but you sure would seen something.

 

You see you're not far from it, so where are you?

 

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Just now, mstevens said:

It's about 50 km from the coast which is quite some distance....even if you were at the closest point I am not sure you would hear anything, but you sure would seen something.

 

You see you're not far from it, so where are you?

 

My point exactly. Even the small plumes from White Island that occur frequently are visible sometimes, so does seem strange why you wouldn't have at least seen the huge plume. I think an answer is required.

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Latest from the Herald says that 1 is dead, and likely to be more. One group was in or close to the red circled area below when it went off. I can't imagine the terror.

 

People can be seen inside the crater just before the eruption. Photo / GeoNet

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15 minutes ago, Katipo said:

Latest from the Herald says that 1 is dead, and likely to be more. One group was in or close to the red circled area below when it went off. I can't imagine the terror.

 

People can be seen inside the crater just before the eruption. Photo / GeoNet

I've never been there, but it's an active volcano, so I'd assume any tourists would be informed that there was a risk of eruption and death before going.

Doesn't mitigate the consequences though if unlucky. RIP to the deceased.

I'd also assume there are monitors that should indicate if an eruption is likely, so should be an investigation as to why they didn't work.

Certain to curtail any future tourism to the island.

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New Zealand 'sudden' volcano eruption kills one, several others missing

By Praveen Menon

 

2019-12-09T065303Z_1_LYNXMPEFB80D8_RTROPTP_4_NEWZEALAND-VOLCANO.JPG

Combination photo shows Whakaari, also known as White Island, volcano shortly before and after eruption in New Zealand, December 9, 2019, in this image obtained via social media. GNS Science via REUTERS

 

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - At least one person was killed, up to 20 injured and several others reported missing after a volcano erupted off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island on Monday, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air.

 

Twenty-three people, some of them believed to be tourists from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship, were rescued from White Island, where the volcano erupted at about 2:11 p.m. (0111 GMT), police said, adding that others were still on the island.

 

Earlier, about 50 people were feared to have been nearby.

 

St. John Ambulance said that up to 20 people were believed to have been injured in the eruption, adding that a mobile triage unit was on its way. The organisation it had sent seven helicopters to the island with medics onboard.

 

Several people were injured and some unaccounted for on White Island in New Zealand when a volcano began erupting there on Monday (December 9), said the country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

 

Michael Schade, an engineering manager from San Francisco, was one of the tourists who made it off the island minutes before the eruption.

 

In a video Schade posted on Twitter as he sped away from the island on a boat, a huge plume of white ash soars into the sky as a group of frightened tourists huddles close to the shore.

 

"This is so hard to believe," Schade said. "Our whole tour group were literally standing at the edge of the main crater not 30 minutes before."

 

A crater rim camera owned and operated by New Zealand science agency GeoNet shows groups of people walking toward and away from the rim inside the crater, from which white vapour constantly billows, in the hour leading up to the eruption.

 

At 2:00 p.m. the crater rim camera catches a group of people - tiny specks in relation to the vast volcano - right at the edge of the rim. At 2:10 p.m. - just a minute before the eruption - the group is headed away from the rim, following a well-worn track across the crater.

 

White Island is about 50 km (30 miles) from the east coast of North Island and huge plumes were visible from the mainland.

 

Volcanologists said the ash plume shot 12,000 feet (3,658 m) into the air.

 

"We know that there were a number of tourists on or around the island at the time, both New Zealanders and visitors from overseas," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference.

 

"I know there will be a huge amount of concern and anxiety for those who had loved ones on or around the island at the time. I can assure them that police are doing everything they can."

 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a tweet that Australians had been affected by the eruption and that the government was trying to learn more.

 

Kevin O'Sullivan, chief executive of the New Zealand Cruise Association, said: "We believe there is a tour party from Ovation of the Seas involved in the White Island eruption. We have no further details at the moment."

 

Ovation of the Seas is a 16-deck cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises <RCL.N>. It can take nearly 5,000 passengers and has a crew of about 1,500. It is docked at Tauranga, on the North Island, on a cruise that began in Sydney on Dec 3.

 

"We can confirm that a number of our guests were touring the island today," a company representative said in an emailed statement. "We do not have any additional details to share at this time."

 

NO-FLY ZONE

There seemed to be no danger for people in coastal areas farther away, authorities said.

 

The eruption was unexpected, but not unusual, an expert said.

 

"Sudden, unheralded eruptions from volcanoes such as White Island can be expected at any time," Shane Cronin, a volcanologist at University of Auckland, said in comments published by the Australia Science Media Centre.

 

"We know hydrothermal and so-called 'phreatic' eruptions can occur suddenly and with little or no warning because they are driven by the expansion of super-heated water into steam," he added.

 

The island's immediate surroundings were hazardous because of the eruption, the National Emergency Management Agency said in an statement, adding that falling ash might affect some areas.

 

The "short-lived eruption" showed no signs of escalating, New Zealand's geoscience agency GNS Science said in a statement.

 

 

The White Island volcano is one of New Zealand's most active.

 

The White Island volcano's last fatal eruption was in 1914, when it killed 12 sulphur miners. There was a short-lived eruption in April 2016.

 

White Island became a private scenic reserve in 1953, and daily tours allow more than 10,000 people to visit the volcano every year.

 

'Whakaari', as it is known in Maori, is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years, according to geological hazard tracking agency Geonet.

 

About 70 percent of the volcano is under the sea, making this massive volcanic structure the largest in New Zealand.

 

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Additional reporting by Jane Wardell and Steve Coates. Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Clarence Fernandez)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-12-09

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'Sudden' volcano eruption in New Zealand kills five, several missing

By Praveen Menon

 

2019-12-09T062353Z_1_LYNXMPEFB80C5_RTROPTP_4_NEWZEALAND-VOLCANO.JPG

A person injured by the White Island volcano eruption is wheeled into a waiting ambulance on a stretcher in Whakatane, New Zealand, December 9, 2019, in this still image taken from video. TVNZ via REUTERS TV

 

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - At least five people were killed, up to 20 injured and several were reported missing after a volcano suddenly erupted off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island on Monday, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air.

 

More casualties were feared on White Island, where the volcano erupted at about 2:11 p.m. (0111 GMT), police said.

 

Twenty-three people, some of them believed to be tourists from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship, were rescued, police said, adding that others were still on the island.

 

About 50 people were feared to have been nearby and several were seen near the rim of the crater minutes before the eruption.

 

St. John Ambulance said up to 20 people were believed to have been injured in the eruption, adding that a mobile triage unit was on its way. The organisation said it had sent seven helicopters to the island with medics onboard.

 

Michael Schade, an engineering manager from San Francisco, was one of the tourists who made it off the island just before the eruption.

 

 

In a video Schade posted on Twitter as he sped away from the island by boat, a huge plume of white ash soars into the sky as a group of frightened tourists huddles close to the shore.

 

"This is so hard to believe," Schade said. "Our whole tour group were literally standing at the edge of the main crater not 30 minutes before."

 

A crater rim camera owned and operated by New Zealand science agency GeoNet shows groups of people walking toward and away from the rim inside the crater, from which white vapour constantly billows, in the hour leading up to the eruption.

 

At 2:00 p.m. the crater rim camera catches a group of people - tiny specks in relation to the vast volcano - right at the edge of the rim.

At 2:10 p.m. - just a minute before the eruption - the group is headed away from the rim, following a well-worn track across the crater.

 

White Island is about 50 km (30 miles) from the east coast of North Island and huge plumes were visible from the mainland. Volcanologists said the ash plume shot 12,000 feet (3,658 m) into the air.

 

"We know that there were a number of tourists on or around the island at the time, both New Zealanders and visitors from overseas," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference.

 

"I know there will be a huge amount of concern and anxiety for those who had loved ones on or around the island at the time. I can assure them that police are doing everything they can."

 

GRAPHIC: Volcanic Eruption in New Zealand - nzl-volcano.jpg

 

On Twitter, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australians had been affected by the eruption and the government was trying to learn more. Twenty four Australians were on White Island when the volcano erupted, Australian media said.

 

Kevin O'Sullivan, chief executive of the New Zealand Cruise Association, said: "We believe there is a tour party from Ovation of the Seas involved in the White Island eruption. We have no further details at the moment."

 

Ovation of the Seas is a 16-deck cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises <RCL.N>. It can take nearly 5,000 passengers and has a crew of about 1,500. It is docked at Tauranga, on the North Island, on a cruise that began in Sydney on Dec 3.

 

"We can confirm that a number of our guests were touring the island today," a company representative said in an emailed statement. "We do not have any additional details to share at this time."

 

NO-FLY ZONE

There seemed to be no danger for people in coastal areas farther away, authorities said.

 

The eruption was unexpected, but not unusual, an expert said.

 

"Sudden, unheralded eruptions from volcanoes such as White Island can be expected at any time," Shane Cronin, a volcanologist at University of Auckland, said in comments published by the Australia Science Media Centre.

 

"We know hydrothermal and so-called 'phreatic' eruptions can occur suddenly and with little or no warning because they are driven by the expansion of super-heated water into steam," he added.

 

Geological hazard tracker GeoNet raised the alert level for the White Island volcano in November due to an increase in volcanic activity.

 

Just last week, GeoNet volcanologist Brad Scott said in a report that moderate volcanic unrest continued at White Island, with substantial gas, steam and mud bursts observed at the vent located at the back of the crater lake.

 

The island's immediate surroundings were hazardous because of the eruption, the National Emergency Management Agency said in an statement, adding that falling ash might affect some areas.

 

The "short-lived eruption" showed no signs of escalating, New Zealand's geoscience agency GNS Science said in a statement.

 

The White Island volcano is one of New Zealand's most active.

 

The White Island volcano's last fatal eruption was in 1914, when it killed 12 sulphur miners. There was a short-lived eruption in April 2016.

 

White Island became a private scenic reserve in 1953, and daily tours allow more than 10,000 people to visit the volcano every year.

 

'Whakaari', as it is known in Maori, is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years, according to geological hazard tracking agency GeoNet.

 

About 70 percent is under the sea, making the massive volcanic structure the largest in New Zealand.

 

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Additional reporting by Jane Wardell and Steve Coates, Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Clarence Fernandez)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-12-09
 
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If it is the "White Island" off the coast of Tauranga it was always banned for civilians to land on ?

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56 minutes ago, natway09 said:

If it is the "White Island" off the coast of Tauranga it was always banned for civilians to land on ?

It's that one but apparently tourists could get in. I also saw a damaged helicopter in one of the CNN photos. The geothermals near Rotorua were enough for me, getting near in an active volcano is playing with your life.

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