Monday 9 December 2019

Volcanic Eruption

On the TV tonight we learn that there has been a major volcanic eruption on White Island this afternoon, off the coast of the Bay of Plenty and less than three hours drive away from us.  Initial reports are saying that there were about fifty people on the island when it erupted, and there are around twenty people still unaccounted for.  We are praying they will be safe.

Our family flew over White Island in 1986, but I have never actually set foot on the Island.  These photos are ones I took on our flight that year.

White Island is an active volcano and people land on it at their own risk as it can be unpredictable, as volcanoes are.  Tour groups often visit, and I believe the missing people have come from a tour group off a passenger ship currently in Tauranga port.

This is a sobering reminder of the geology of New Zealand, with its volcanoes and earthquakes.


  1. Latest so far is one confirmed dead with more likely.

  2. Let's hope this is not a foretaste of earthquakes on the mainland.

  3. It's the main item on the news here. I'm not sure I would be keen to visit an active volcano. Sounds as if there are many people missing - very sad

  4. AN UPDATE: This morning (Tuesday 10th) the official death toll is five. This is expected to rise by at least another ten, once Search And Rescue people are able to access the Island itself. Very sad.
    I would also like to say that this is an active volcano and people visit it on most days. The eruption itself was only a moderate one, not much different to others that have occurred (and not expected to continue), but the difference this time is that there were people on the Island when it happened.

  5. Just watched an article on our news about White Island. I wouldn’t be brave enough to go to such a place. Hope those who escaped survived.

    I do admire your prime minister.

  6. It's quite sad but we were wondering why people were still being taken out there by tours if there was a high level of it erupting. My other half grew up in Whakatane and he said it hadn't done it to that level when he was there.

  7. Oh, that would be horrible...but you would not catch me going near!

  8. We've been wa6tching the volcano on the news. It's so sad that people were so close and lost their lives. It would be sad at any time of the year but being so close to Christmas seems even more tragic.

  9. News reports coming through here in Australia for the last 24 hours.

    Sad day all round. An Australian family confirmed amongst the dead. Another family missing. Search teams are still unable to go to the island until it is 'safe to do so'

    I'm sure there will be an enquiry into the how's and whys so might have an effect on tourism in the immediate area

    1. Police have announced they are starting a criminal investigation into this tragedy.

  10. I grew up in the Bay with white island often smoking away on the horizon . Wouldn't have wanted to visit it though. A terrible tragedy.


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