Eruption of a volcano in New Zealand: at least one dead, missing – video


At least one person died during the Monday eruption of the White Island volcano, north of New Zealand, where authorities have dispatched important means to treat the wounded and locate the missing.

Many tourists "were on or around the island, some of which have been lost," Premier Jacinda Ardern told reporters in Wellington. "It's a changing situation and of course all our thoughts are with the people involved."

According to her, some of these tourists were foreigners.

According to the police, about fifty people were near the volcano when the eruption occurred at 14:11 local time (1H11 GMT), less than according to the head of government, which had evoked at first " a hundred people.

"Some of these people were brought back to the mainland but some of them would still be on the island right now" (late afternoon), police said in a statement . And it is "too dangerous" to conduct rescue operations on the island.

According to St. John, an ambulance service in Whatakane, a town about 50 kilometers from the volcanic island, up to 20 people were injured and medical teams were still on their way.

"The emergency services are desperately trying to get these people back to the hospital for treatment," Judy Turner, the mayor of Whakatane, told AFP.

Live images of the volcano show more than half a dozen people walking on the edge of the crater before the eruption.

The National Emergency Management Agency has described this outbreak as "moderate". A thick white plume, however, was visible for miles around.

Several helicopters and planes were seen in the area as survivors were flown from the island to the mainland on board tour boats.

White Island is located about fifty kilometers off the touristy Bay of Plenty, and tourists in search of adventures like to go there equipped with safety helmets and gas masks to approach the volcano.

Four tourists and a pilot who had traveled to the island by helicopter were found. They had landed on the island shortly before the eruption.

"We do not know what happened afterwards, but we know that all five have returned to Whakatane on one of the tourist boats," a company spokesman told AFP.

White Island, 70% of which is submerged, is the most active volcano in the archipelago of New Zealand, according to the government agency GeoNet.

About 10,000 tourists visit each year. It has experienced frequent eruptions over the past 50 years, the most recent being in 2016. In that year, a 2.4-tonne container was flown to the island to provide shelter in the event of an accident. 'eruption.

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