From New Zealand Herald: “Many of the people visiting White Island today were from the cruise ship Ovation of the Seas which is berthed at the Port of Tauranga this morning. Port company chief executive Mark Cairns says he understands the majority of those injured in the eruption are from the ship, the largest cruise vessel that visits Tauranga.”
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt
— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
The New Zealand Herald is reporting that up to 20 people have been injured, some critically, after a volcano erupted off the coast of New Zealand.
The eruption happened at White Island at about 2:15 p.m local time on Monday. A rescue operation is currently underway to save people who were seen on a webcam inside the crater at 2:10 p.m. right before the eruption.
Looks like there were two groups of people inside the White Island #volcano crater at the time of the eruption. Here’s the progression as they made they way into the crater. Both groups appeared to be leaving the crater at eruption. #NewZealand https://t.co/QqdqvuMLQM pic.twitter.com/zin347LFSj
— AI6YR (@ai6yrham) December 9, 2019
Judy Turner, the Mayor of Whakatane confirmed that tourists on the island have been injured during the explosion. Volcanic Helicopters and one boat have still not been accounted for, according to reports.
“At this stage we believe around 100 people were around or on the island at this stage not all of them are accounted for,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, The New Zealand Herald reported.
A police spokesperson said there is no further information at this stage.