Society 14:56 09/12/2019 World

Five people killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption

Desperate efforts are underway to locate any additional survivors of a deadly volcanic eruption on New Zealand's White Island Monday, which killed at least five people and injured at least a dozen more, CNN reports.

The eruption took place with little warning early Monday afternoon local time while dozens of tourists from nearby cruise ship Ovation of the Seas were touring the volcano.

New Zealand is located in one of the world's most tectonically-volatile regions. Vulcanologists said that while the eruption was relatively small compared to other past disasters, anyone close to the site would have been in serious danger.

So far, 23 people have been evacuated from the island since the eruption, according to New Zealand National Operation Commander Deputy Commissioner John Tims, all with some degree of injuries. The five who have since died were among the evacuees.

The deputy commissioner said that there has been no further communication from the island since the evacuations but at least 10 people are believed to still be ashore. However, Tims said it was currently unsafe to send emergency crews to search for them.

"The island is unstable ... the physical envicronment is unsafe for us to return," Tims told reporters.

Tourist Michael Schade and his family had been on the volcano just 20 minutes before it erupted. They were waiting on a boat, about to leave, when the eruption occurred.

Schade took videos of the ride leaving the island, showing giant plumes of thick black smoke as the boat quickly departed.

"Boat ride home ... was indescribable," Schade wrote on Twitter. "Those are some of the people (our) boat picked up. Praying for them and their recovery. Woman my mom tended to was in critical condition but seemed strong by the end."



Source Panorama.am
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