THE terrifying eruption of a volcano in New Zealand this morning was caught on camera by a boat full of panicked tourists.
The White Island volcano, just off the town of Whakatane on the country’s north coast, erupted at around 2.11pm, leaving at least five dead and many more fatalities feared.
Footage shot from a boat just off the island shows a 12,000-foot plume of smoke and rock being thrown into the sky as passengers scramble for cover.
A man out of shot is heard saying, “Oh my God. Go, go, go!”, while another says: “We’ve got to get out of here.”
A voice is then heard imploring passengers: “Go inside! Go inside! Go inside!”
Around 50 people are thought to have been on the island at the time of the eruption.
Police confirmed that 23 were rescued, of whom 5 later died, with many of the survivors having suffered severe burns.
They added later that, during reconnaissance flights, “no signs of life had been seen at any point”, and that they did not expect to find anymore survivors.
“Police believe that anyone who could have been taken from the island alive was rescued at the time of the evacuation,” a statement said.
of a secondary eruption would mean they would not be able to access the island tonight.
Speaking at a press conference, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said: “I know that there will be a huge amount of anxiety for those who had loved ones on the island at the time.
“I can assure them police are doing everything they can.”
She is now reported to have arrived in the area and to be meeting with local officials.
Around half of those who were on the island at the time of the eruption are thought to have been from Australia.
CHANCE OF ANOTHER ERUPTION
A chilling photo taken by a scientific monitoring camera showed a group trekking across the crater of the volcano just a minute before the eruption.
Rescuers were earlier able to reach the shore by boat and a fleet of helicopters were dispatched to the area, although a no-fly zone has now been imposed for five nautical miles around the island.
A statement from New Zealand’s national police force said: “We are continuing to work as quickly as possible, through a number of channels of information, to confirm exact numbers of those involved, including those who remain on the island.
“Both New Zealanders and overseas tourists are believed to involved.
“Police is currently taking advice from GeoNet experts, who have advised that due to the current risk environment, emergency services remain unable to access the island.”
Dr. Jessica Johnson, a volcanologist at the University of East Anglia, told CNN: “There is a chance of another eruption of similar size … and potentially bigger.”
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Police said people from overseas can call +64 9105 105 to submit information about friends or family who might have been on the island at the time.
The New Zealand Red Cross has also set up a website for people wanting to register themselves safe or register an inquiry about a loved one.
A helicopter is seen on the island covered in ash after the eruption[/caption]
Paramedics tend to an injured person evacuated from the island[/caption]
Police have said they know longer expect to find any survivors on the island[/caption]
An aerial view of the volcano in the aftermath of the eruption[/caption]