Even if it's an active volcano, the island remains to be one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country due to its handsome scenery, and some tourists were seen walking inside the rim of the volcano crater. Scientists warned between 2011 and 2016 that it was too dangerous to visit the volcano, but this warning seems to have been ignored.
Reportedly, one person is dead, several are missing, and the number of dead people is expected to rise.
A visitor, Michael Schade shared a video on his Twitter account. He told on his Twitter account that he was at the edge of the main crater 30 minutes before the eruption and he took the video while leaving the island.
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) December 9, 2019
The Prime Minister of the country Jacinda Ardern said, "At this stage, and please do keep in mind this is an evolving situation, we believe around 100 people were on or around the island at the time and some of those are at this stage unaccounted for."
Those are some of the people put boat picked up. Praying for them and their recovery. Woman my mom tended to was in critical condition but seemed strong by the end.— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
The helicopters on the island looked destroyed: pic.twitter.com/jds5QBD1yg
As Interesting Engineering, our condolences go out to the families of the victims. We hope that the number of deaths won't increase, and hope that in the future, some precautions will be taken.