DAA Daily

White Island Volcano Erupts in New Zealand

Gabi Beltram Editor-In-Chief, The Pawprint

New Zealand’s popular tourist destination- White Island is home to a large, active volcano- the Whakaari Volcano, which erupted on Monday. As of now one person has been confirmed dead and one critically injured, but local authorities foresee more as they fully assess the situation. It is believed that less than 50 people were visiting the island when the volcano erupted; 20 confirmed as passengers from one of the largest Royal Carribean cruises- Ovation of the Seas. Out of the 50 missing, some have made it to shore but the number of unaccounted is still undetermined. Search and rescue operations are underway from emergency services and a no-fly zone has been established around the island to aid rescue crews. 

A tourist was on the Whakaari Volcano’s crater 20 minutes before eruption. Michael Schade and his family were waiting for a boat to leave as it erupted, he took videos as they left. On Twitter, he wrote: “My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for [the] first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, [we] were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. [The] Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable.” and “[The] Woman my mom tended to was in critical condition but seemed strong by the end. The helicopters on the island looked destroyed” as well as “This is so hard to believe. Our whole tour group were literally standing at the edge of the main crater not 30 minutes before. My thoughts with the families of those currently unaccounted for, the people recovering now, and especially the rescue workers…”  

The New Zealand police and the National Emergency Management Agency have issued statements detailing a plan of action for residents in close proximity; “Stay indoors if possible, especially if you already suffer from breathing difficulties or respiratory illnesses. When indoors, close windows and doors to keep out volcanic ash. If outdoors, wear a face mask or use a cloth to cover your nose and mouth. Wear goggles to protect your eyes. Wear glasses, NOT contact lenses — fine ash will get under the lens. Monitor updates and warnings on the radio or TV.” 

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Source: Michael Schade, @sch on Twitter 

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