One man died, 50 were missing after being trapped in a volcano eruption in New Zealand
A total of 50 people who were in the area of the White Island eruption when it exploded on Monday were present and accounted for, the New Zealand police reported.
Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims revealed that one person was killed and that “based on the information we have, there will be likely to be much more.”
Although 23 citizens have been rescued from the country, there is no data on where the rest of the people are.
Holidaymakers were seen wandering inside the crater’s edge just a few minutes before the explosion started at 2:11 p.m. local time (6:41 IST).
A live feed clearly showed from within the crater before it got dark after the explosion.
White Island, also known as Whakaari, is one of the most active volcanoes in New Zealand, but it also is a popular tourist attraction.
“While it was initially thought that there were about 100 people on or around the island at the time of the explosion, we now suspect that there were less than 50,” the authorities added.
“Some of these individuals have been transferred to shore, but a number known to be on the island is still present and accounted for,” the New Zealand police added. “Of those who were evacuated to land, at least one was severely injured.”
Emergency responders are working to ensure the security of all involved, particularly rescue personnel, it said. A no-fly zone has been set up.
The government was working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct a search and rescue mission after a volcano eruption in White Island this afternoon.
GeoNet’s Geological Risk Monitoring platform said that ash drops tend to be limited to White Island and do not anticipate more than a small amount of ash to touch East Cape in the coming weeks.
The Agency said that the explosion was a short-lived occurrence impacting the crater surface. The frequency seems to have declined since the explosion, he added.
“Our detection equipment is still in operation, and we have seen a steady decline in activity since the eruption. There remains considerable confusion as to future changes, but there are currently no signs of escalation,” he added.