New Zealand volcano - At least five dead with number expected to rise

Gordon_R

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50708727
A volcano has erupted in New Zealand, leaving at least five and more than 20 unaccounted for, police have said.

Tourists were seen walking inside the rim of the White Island crater just moments before the eruption.

White Island, or Whakaari, is off the coast of North Island - and is one of the country's most active volcanoes.

Despite that, the island is a tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.

"It was a higher activity level that day [on the volcano] it was still safe-ish but they were trying to limit the group sizes [of people visiting the volcano]."

"We had just got on the boat...then someone pointed it out and we saw it. I was basically just shocked. The boat turned back and we grabbed some people that were waiting on the pier."

A live feed from the volcano showed a group of visitors inside the crater before images went dark after the eruption.

_110055272_craterblack.jpg
 
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Daisy Cloudskitter

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^^ Sad news.
Could never understand the desire to be anywhere near the business end of an active volcano , never mind inside the crater.



Five people have died and eight are still missing.
New Zealanders and tourists from Australia, the US, Britain, China and Malaysia were among the missing and injured. The police do not expect to find more survivors on White Island, where two explosions in quick succession sent up a huge plume of ash that could be seen from the North Island.
About 31 people remain in hospital after three people were discharged overnight. In total, 47 people visited the island on Monday.
 

RedViking

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^^ Sad news.
Could never understand the desire to be anywhere near the business end of an active volcano , never mind inside the crater.

Well, we live near the business end of death in SA everyday.

I wonder what was their last reaction before they got melted. Just stand there and get it done with or did they try to run...... Ouch.
 
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Daisy Cloudskitter

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10,000 tourists a year visit White Island.

Questions are now being raised about tour operators ignoring expert risk assessments. Visitors/victims apparently weren't warned of higher risk since last month when NZ Earthquake Commission raised the alert level after noting increased volcanic activity.

8 people now missing presumed dead, and 31 people being treated for burns - some not expected to survive.
 

Afon Kulikov

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White Island volcano: New volcanic activity hampers recovery efforts
New Zealand's White Island volcano is showing increased seismic activity, putting recovery efforts on hold.

Authorities hoped they would be able to retrieve the eight people presumed dead on the island on Wednesday.

So far, six people have been confirmed dead in the tragedy. Another 25 are in critical condition in hospital with severe burns.

The volcano, also known as Whakaari, erupted on Monday when dozens of tourists were on the island.

"I've spoken to many of those involved in the operation and they are very, very eager to get back there, they want to bring people's loved ones home," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters.

Meanwhile, the identification process and post mortem examinations of the victims are underway.

 

MightyQuin

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Well, we live near the business end of death in SA everyday.

I wonder what was their last reaction before they got melted. Just stand there and get it done with or did they try to run...... Ouch.
Your analogy reminds me of the ending of Melancholia...

But in reality I think it would've been the same as standing next to a nuclear bomb as it goes off...the survivors however, being burnt alive. Now that is another story indeed.
 

Creag

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Why the New Zealand volcano eruption caught the world by surprise
ON MONDAY, AT 2:11 p.m. local time, an explosive eruption rocked White Island, a small volcanic isle in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty. A series of violent blasts rang out, flinging ash 12,000 feet into the sky and showering the volcano’s floor with hot debris, before everything fell silent a handful of minutes later.

It quickly became apparent that lives were lost. A number of tourists were on the island at the time, several of whom were right next to the volcano’s active vent. At the time of writing, five deaths have been officially recorded, with several more people still unaccounted for. Recent reconnaissance flights over the island, also known by its Māori name Whakaari, have found no signs of life.

For this sort of volcanic paroxysm, “this was probably the actual worst-case scenario,” says Shane Cronin, a volcanologist and Earth scientist at the University of Auckland.
 

Daisy Cloudskitter

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According to New Zealand’s official earthquake monitoring body, GeoNet, explosive eruptions can happen with little or no warning. They eject cannonball-like hot rocks, ash clouds and surges of boiling gases and rock projectiles into the air.

“People were actually inside the crater, right adjacent to the vents of the volcano,” Professor Cas said. “And I think that’s the issue — you’re in this very confined space and when the event occurs there’s actually nowhere to go.”

It’s to this deadly environment that those tasked with the recovery of the eight people who remain unaccounted for must return. Anyone heading to the island now will be exposed to severe dust and dangerous chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, which caused inhalation burns to many of the victims.

New Zealand Police have confirmed the number of deaths has risen to 8. Others are being treated for injuries on up to 90 per cent of their bodies.

NZ police to recover bodies on Friday : https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50753453
 

Alan

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Why the New Zealand volcano eruption caught the world by surprise


But for this volcano, and for the type of eruption style involved, it was nothing out of the ordinary: Similar eruptions, though not everyday occurrences, have happened at many volcanoes all over the world, and they will continue to appear without much warning
This eruption style—driven at least initially by steam—occurs at volcanoes all over the world. A somewhat similar steam blast happened at Japan’s Mount Ontake in 2014, killing 63 hikers. Crucially, these volcanic events don’t provide any definitive warning signs. No matter where in the world they occur, “no one has shown that they are able to forecast this kind of activity,” Kilgour says.


Yet apparently "the world" is somehow "caught by surprise"
 
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