Five persons have been confirmed dead, others critically injured and many missing after a volcano on New Zealand’s popular White Island tourist destination erupted on Monday.
New Zealand police say no fewer than 50 people were believed to be on the island at the time of the eruption, but not everyone had been accounted for.
Tourists were seen exploring and walking inside the moon-like surface of the White Island crater just moments before the eruption.
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden says search and rescue crews are assisting at the site of the eruption, which is located off the eastern coast of the North Island.
New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency says it is assessing the situation with scientific advisors to determine the severity of the threat.
More than 10,000 people visit the island ever year.