UPDATED 9:42 AM PT — Monday, December 9, 2019
Officials in New Zealand have established a “no fly zone” over White Island where a volcano erupted. At least five people have been killed and several others are injured.
The volcano shot ash 12,000 feet high Monday, creating dangerous conditions for rescue crews. The country’s deputy police commissioner, John Tims, said the decision was made because of the unpredictable volcanic activity.
“Due to the current risk, emergency services are unable to access the island,” he stated. “And what I mean by that, we have taken advice from GeoNet and they have assisted us with making a risk assessment that the island is unstable.”
#BREAKING: New Zealand’s White Island volcano has erupted.
-At least 1 person dead
-Several people unaccounted for
-Site is popular among tourists
— Chloe Salsameda (@ChloeSalsameda) December 9, 2019
More than 20 people have been rescued and reports say there were about 50 tourists on the island at the time of the eruption.