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UK News Volcano eruption: At least one Briton among missing or injured

21:42  09 december  2019
21:42  09 december  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

Seconds before disaster, a camera records hikers inside New Zealand's White Island volcano

  Seconds before disaster, a camera records hikers inside New Zealand's White Island volcano There are fears for the safety of a group of hikers photographed walking near the edge of a White Island's crater just before the New Zealand volcano erupted, killing at least one person.There are fears for the safety of a group of hikers who were photographed walking near the edge of a crater just before a deadly volcanic eruption on New Zealand's White Island.

At least one British tourist is among those missing or injured after a volcano erupted in New Zealand, the country's prime minister has said.

a close up of smoke: The eruption on White Island © NetStorage The eruption on White Island

Jacinda Ardern confirmed that people from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the US, China and Malaysia were among those affected by the eruption on White Island on Monday.

Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday morning, Ms Ardern said there were 47 people on the island - five are dead, eight are missing, 31 are in hospital and three were discharged overnight.

She said: "To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your unfathomable grief at this moment in time and in your sorrow.

New Zealand Volcano: Two British Women Injured In Eruption On White Island

  New Zealand Volcano: Two British Women Injured In Eruption On White Island Two British women are in hospital after being injured in the volcanic eruption on White Island, the UK High Commissioner to New Zealand has said. High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa Laura Clarke tweeted that her team are offering assistance to the family of two British women hospitalised by the volcanic eruption on White Island. “We are supporting the family of two (GB) women who have been hospitalised in New Zealand,” she tweeted. “MyHigh Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa Laura Clarke tweeted that her team are offering assistance to the family of two British women hospitalised by the volcanic eruption on White Island.

"Your loved ones stood alongside Kiwis who are hosting you here and we grieve with you and we grieve with them."

The prime minister added that several aerial reconnaissance flights had taken place since the eruption, but that there were still "no signs of life" remaining on the island.

a group of people riding skis on a snowy mountain: Tour guides evacuate the island after the eruption. Pic: Twitter/ @sch © Reuters Tour guides evacuate the island after the eruption. Pic: Twitter/ @sch

Police will not carry out ground searches until safety guarantees have been made, with the emergency services waiting for advice from experts in Wellington.

It had been feared that the number of people unaccounted for was in double figures, and officials said on Monday that none of the missing were believed to have survived.

Several people were seen near the rim of the crater just before the eruption at 2.11pm local time (1.11am UK time).

Two British women among 31 in hospital after New Zealand volcanic eruption

  Two British women among 31 in hospital after New Zealand volcanic eruption Laura Clarke, the UK High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, said the family of the two women was being supported.White Island erupted with a large plume of ash and steam on Monday while dozens of people were exploring New Zealand’s most active volcano.

Some of those involved are believed to be from Ovation of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship.

Officers were hoping to locate the people who are unaccounted for through its passenger list.

a airplane that is covered in snow: Video shows a helicopter on the ground, damaged from the ash cloud. Pic: Twitter/ @Sch © Other Video shows a helicopter on the ground, damaged from the ash cloud. Pic: Twitter/ @Sch

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that 24 Australians were visiting the island as part of the cruise ship tour group - and some of them are unaccounted for.

He warned earlier: "We must prepare for some difficult news in the days ahead."

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was in "close contact" with authorities in New Zealand and was seeking further information.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "Devastating scenes in New Zealand. I've been in contact with Prime Minister @jacindaardern to express our deepest sympathies. There are many people still feared missing, and my heart goes out to all those affected and their families."

Two British women among 31 injured after New Zealand volcanic eruption

  Two British women among 31 injured after New Zealand volcanic eruption White Island erupted with a large plume of ash and steam on Monday while dozens of people were exploring New Zealand's most active volcano. White Island on Monday while dozens of people were exploring New Zealand's most active volcano.

a group of people on a rock in the snow: People were told to leave the island. Pic: Twitter/ @sch © Reuters People were told to leave the island. Pic: Twitter/ @sch

Despite Ms Ardern describing the eruption as "very significant", it is not expected to have a strong impact on another island about 30 miles west of White Island, named North Island.

a group of people standing in front of a building: More than two dozen people were taken to hospital © Reuters More than two dozen people were taken to hospital

The GeoNet agency said the eruption, which threw smoke and debris 12,000ft into the air, was moderate and raised its alert level to four - on a scale where five represents a major eruption.

a snow covered mountain: Tourists are among the missing and injured © N/A Tourists are among the missing and injured

Dr Ken Gledhill, technical adviser at GNS Science, said it was "not a particularly big eruption" and was "almost like a throat clearing kind of eruption which is why material won't make it to the mainland".

He added: "For volcanic eruptions it's not large, but if you were close it's not good. It's shown increased activity over the past few weeks so we raised the alert. We can't be certain there won't be another eruption in the next 24 hours."

There have been questions asked as to why tourists were still able to visit the island after scientists recently noticed an uptick in volcanic activity.

Hope fades for eight missing after New Zealand volcanic island erupts

  Hope fades for eight missing after New Zealand volcanic island erupts Hope fades for eight missing after New Zealand volcanic island eruptsWHAKATANE, New Zealand (Reuters) - Eight people were missing and presumed dead on Tuesday after a volcanic eruption covered a small New Zealand island popular with tourists in hot ash and steam, killing five people and seriously injuring around 30 more.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said: "We can confirm that a number of our guests were touring the island today. We do not have any additional details to share at this time."

Police have told people to avoid areas on North Island that are close to the eruption.

These include the Whakatane Heads and Muriwai Drive areas, and a no-fly zone has also been established after video from the scene showed a helicopter damaged in the eruption.

White Island, also known by the indigenous Maori name Whakaari, is New Zealand's most active cone volcano - and about 70% of the volcano is under the sea.

Twelve people were killed on the island in 1914 when it was being mined for sulphur. Part of a crater wall collapsed and a landslide destroyed the miners' village and the mine itself.

The remains of buildings from another mining enterprise in the 1920s are now a tourist attraction.

The island became a private scenic reserve in 1953, and daily tours now allow more than 10,000 people to visit the volcano every year.

Fears for British couple who have vanished since New Zealand volcano disaster as their son, 35, says he has desperately been trying to make contact .
Mark Rakos, 35, from Darlington, County Durham, said dad Karl, 56 (pictured), and stepmother Debroah, 62, were on a cruise around New Zealand and haven't been in touch since Sunday.Karl Rakos, 56, and wife Deborah, 52, from Darlington, have been listed as missing on an unofficial Red Cross website following the disaster, which struck on Monday.

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