Volcano erupts off New Zealand coast, 20 injured

Elias Hubbard
December 9, 2019

A volcano is erupting on an island less than 50km off the coast of New Zealand's North Island.

"I've got limited understanding at present other than there's been an eruption, that there have been some people who were on the island at the time, who have had some injuries", Whakatane mayor Judy Taylor told Radio NZ.

A number of people had been injured, Ardern said, but the exact number was so far unclear.

The island volcano erupted around 2.30pm with Geonet raising the alert level to four of five.

An eruption has occurred on Whakaari / White Island in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, sending a huge plume of smoke and ash into the sky.

A triage will be established on the erupting island to treat patients.

Neither the police, civil defence authorities, nor a tour company that runs trips to the island would confirm the reports.

The White Island Crater Rim camera, held by GeoGet, showed a string of people visiting the crater at that time.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) issued a national warning for a moderate volcanic eruption, describing the environment "hazardous in the immediate vicinity of the volcano".

The agency said falling ash may affect some areas.

1 NEWS provides live updates of the White Island eruption, refresh the page for the latest updates.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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