New Zealand authorities establish ‘no fly zone’ after volcano eruption

This aerial photo shows White Island after its volcanic eruption in New Zealand Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. The volcano on a small New Zealand island frequented by tourists erupted Monday, and a number of people were missing and injured after the blast. (George Novak/New Zealand Herald via AP)

OAN Newsroom
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.”

More than 20 people have been rescued and reports say there were about 50 tourists on the island at the time of the eruption.

Emergency services attend to an injured person arriving at the Whakatane Airfield after the volcanic eruption Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on White Island, New Zealand. (Alan Gibson/New Zealand Herald via AP)

RELATED: More Than Two Dozen People Feared Missing After New Zealand Volcanic Eruption Kills 5

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