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NZ Volcano Erupts
News Bytes 12/10/2019 24 Comments

A tower of ash and steam descended on dozens of tourists who were exploring a volcanic island in New Zealand yesterday. At least five people died and up to two dozen more are still missing.

White Island sits about 30 miles offshore from mainland New Zealand. Experts say it’s New Zealand’s most active cone volcano. About 70% of the volcano lies under the sea.

White Island was once a mining location. Now it is mostly a tourist destination. Daily tours allow more than 10,000 people to visit the volcano every year.

Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims believes there were fewer than 50 people on the island when the volcano erupted.

The eruption sent a plume of steam and ash about 12,000 feet into the air. Hours afterwards, the site was still too dangerous for rescuers to search for the missing.

Michael Schade’s family had been on the island but returned to their cruise ship just before the eruption. He posted video on Twitter. “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,” Schade wrote. His video showed a wall of ash and steam around the island and a helicopter badly damaged and covered in ash.

People are questioning why tourists were still able to visit the island after scientists recently noted an uptick in volcanic activity.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern traveled to the region late Monday. She says the incident was “very significant.” She says the focus remains on the search-and-rescue mission for now. Questions about whether tourists should be visiting will be addressed later.

“In the scheme of things, for volcanic eruptions, it is not large,” says Ken Gledhill from GeoNet. “But if you were close to that, it is not good.”

(Aerial photo of White Island after its volcanic eruption on Monday, December 9, 2019. George Novak/New Zealand Herald via AP)

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Most recent comments

Oh no!

I hope they find the people who are missing! They really shouldn't have let those tourists visit the volcano, since they knew the volcanic activity had gone up.

That's awful that some people

That's awful that some people died, I feel so bad for those families. It's especially awful when something bad happens that could totally be prevented-those people went to have fun, not because they had too. If only they had known what was coming... The picture is beautiful, though.

@Bella C

I had the same reaction when I read "Experts say it’s New Zealand’s most active cone volcano"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree with Bella C.

why would they take tourists to an active volcano? I did some research and it said that its last eruption was 2016! why would they let people go there so soon?!?!?

oh dear!

I bet the family who left right before the eruption felt so relieved! so sad about the other people too


So sad:-(

Have the answers!

NEVER again let people go to that island so people will not die!! This kinda study makes me mad!:O

i hope everybody is alright

i hope everybody is alright


Oh No! I know missionary's who live in New Zealand.................I hope their ok........


Can someone explain this article to me?
This is Unanimous A.

Oh no!

Oh my gosh! One of my best friends is visiting her grandparents in New Zealand right now! I hope she's okay! She hasn't answered my texts in a few days!

To Above

Hope she's alright!

Okay she answered and she's

Okay she answered and she's okay. She said she could see floating ash but it was far away.


Why would they let tourists visit the volcano? I wonder if the tourists were warned about the uptick in volcanic activity. I hope they find the missing people.

@ Unanimous A

Do you mean that you want us to explain the article about the time stuff?

When I first saw the article

When I first saw the article heading I thought 'Wow! They got to see an actual volcano erupt!?!?' But as I read it I realise I got the wrong impression, they died because of the volcano.

@ mirlea

yes. plz!

So sad my Dad read this story

So sad my Dad read this story to my Mom the other day day and I thought I bet this will be on World Teen!

To Above

That happens to me all the time!



Oh no! I will pray for the

Oh no! I will pray for the people!

Me too

Me too

To Above


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