Volcano erupts kills 19

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The volcanic island Whakaari/White Island in New Zealand’s northeastern Bay of Plenty region explosively erupted on 9 December 2019. There were reportedly 47 people on the island at the time, including tourists from a cruise ship that had stopped there to allow exploring of the region. Nineteen people were killed, including two who are missing and presumed dead, and a further twenty-eight people suffered injuries; many had severe burns. The ongoing seismic and volcanic activity in the area as well as heavy rainfall, low visibility and toxic gases hampered recovery efforts over the week following the incident.

Experts identified the event as a phreatic eruption: a release of steam and volcanic gases that caused an explosion, launching rock and ash into the air.

Tourists have been travelling to White Island for years despite warnings from scientists that it could erupt at any time. (Daily Mail)

Between 2011 and 2016 the volcano 50km north of New Zealand‘s north island – which erupted injuring 20 on Monday – had a period of increased activity but still boatloads of tourists arrived on day trips.

Volcanologists at the time refused to step foot on the island because it was too dangerous and warned tourists not to go.

New Zealand Herald were in the air moments after the dramatic eruption of White Island and captured stunning footage of NZ’s most active volcano. Full Story: http://nzh.tw/12292540