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Updates on White Island eruption

An image provided by visitor Michael Schade shows White Island (Whakaari) volcano, as it erupts, in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

A volcanic eruption in New Zealand left at least five people confirmed dead and more presumed to be dead Monday on a volcanic island off the country’s northeast coast.

Police said White Island, also called Whakaari, is still too dangerous for search and rescue crews but that multiple reconnaissance aircrafts have flown over since the eruption and seen “no signs of life have been seen at any point.”

Fewer than 50 people were on the island when it erupted and 23, including the five confirmed dead, have been evacuated, said Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims.

“Police believe that anyone who could have been taken from the island alive was rescued at the time of the evacuation,” police said in a news release.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called eruption “very significant” and traveled to the area Monday. “All our thoughts are with those affected,” she said.

Here’s what we know now:

What happened on White Island?

According to GeoNet, which tracks volcanic activity in New Zealand, the eruption occurred just after 2 p.m. local time.




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