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New Zealand Volcano: 'Indescribable' eruption leaves at least one dead

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New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern says at least one person has died after a volcano erupted on the country's White Island.

A webcam from inside the crater showed tourists inside the rim of the White Island volcano just seconds before the eruption.

Local police said at least one of those evacuated from the island volcano has been critically injured.

One witness, Michael Schade, said he and his family got off the island 20 minutes before the eruption.

Mr Schade said they were waiting for their boat ride home when it happened, and that passenger service then helped rescue people, he branded the situation as "indescribable."

"While it was initially believed there were approximately 100 people on or near the island at the time of the eruption, we now believe there were fewer than 50," police said.

"Some of those people have been transported to shore, however a number believed to be on the island are currently unaccounted for.

"Of those transported to shore, at least one has been critically injured."

Labour MP Tamati Coffey is outside White Island Tours in Whakatāne, the local MP said: "Needless to say it's pretty emotional there are people who are in tears - there's an element of people in shell shock," he says.

"Somebody just relayed to me that as they were getting on the boat to leave. They got to leave but the people on the boat behind them perhaps weren't quite so lucky.

"There's talk about burns - the details are quite sketchy at the moment… the mood is incredibly sombre, lots of hugging and crying.

"It's still very real - it's still unfolding. I don't know any of the high-level details but here on the ground it's very real."

A live feed from the volcano showed a group of visitors inside the crater before images went dark after the eruption.
Last Modified: Monday، 09 December 2019 09:55 AM
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