On Monday, a volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island left at least five dead, several people injured and many others missing.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of the counry pronounced just right after the incident. She said that people from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia were among the ones missing; others, however, got injuries.
Ardern paid tribute to the people who tried to help visitors caught up in the eruption.
“Those who undertook a risky effort in the immediate aftermath did so in an incredibly courageous way,” she said.
According to New Zealand Police Superintendent Bruce Bird, 47 people were on the island at the time of the explosion. He said 31 are still in hospital, while three others have been treated and discharged.
Tourists posted on social media a video ahowing the moment of the incident. There you can see giant plumes of thick black smoke rising from the site.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt
— Michael Schade (@sch) 9 de diciembre de 2019
According to New Zealand National Operation Commander Deputy Commissioner John Tims The people who died were from a group of 23 who has been evacuated shortly after the eruption.
Earlier, Tims said it was unsafe to send emergency crews to search for those missing.
“The island is unstable … the physical environment is unsafe for us to return,” Tims told reporters.