153144
153283

World  

Dozens rescued from island volcano blast, 13 feared dead

Deadly volcano eruption

A volcano off the New Zealand coast erupted Monday with a towering blast of ash and scalding steam as dozens of tourists were exploring its moon-like surface, killing five people and leaving eight others missing and feared dead, authorities said.

Helicopter crews landed on White Island despite the danger and helped evacuate dozens of survivors, some of them critically injured.

Hours after the disaster, authorities said the site was still too dangerous for rescuers to search for the missing. But aircraft flew over the island repeatedly, and “no signs of life have been seen at any point,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The missing and injured included New Zealanders and tourists from Australia, the U.S., China, Britain and Malaysia, the prime minister said. Some of those who were exploring White Island volcano were passengers from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Ovation of the Seas, docked on neighbouring North Island.

“My god,” Michael Schade tweeted as he posted video of the eruption. “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 rescue was indescribable.”

His video showed a wall of ash and steam around White Island and a helicopter heavily damaged and covered in ash. He said one woman was badly injured but seemed “strong” by the end.

The terrifying disaster immediately raised questions of why people were allowed to visit the island some 30 miles off mainland New Zealand after scientists had noted an uptick in volcanic activity in recent weeks. White Island is the tip of an undersea volcano.

Authorities said 47 people were on the island at the time. Some were walking along the rim of the crater just before the eruption. In addition to the dead and missing, 31 survivors were hospitalized and three others were released, officials said. Some of the victims were reported severely burned.

The eruption took place about 2 p.m. and consisted of two explosions in quick succession, the prime minister said. It sent a plume of steam and ash an estimated 12,000 feet into the air. One of the boats that returned from the island was covered with ash half a meter thick, Ardern said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 13 Australians were hospitalized and 11 others were believed to be among the missing or dead.



More World News

World
London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
145991
Recent Trending
Soft 103.9
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
152610



150992
150923