New Zealand volcano: one dead and likely to be more, after eruption

A volcano has erupted in New Zealand on White Island, leaving at least five people dead and several individuals unaccounted for, according to police.

Iran Press/ Asia: A desperate search is underway for possibly more than 20 people who are still believed to be missing on New Zealand's White Island after a deadly volcanic eruption turning into a natural disaster earlier on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, New Zealand National Operation Commander Deputy Commissioner John Tims said that there had been fewer than 50 people on the island at the time of the eruption.

So far, 23 people have been evacuated, one of whom has died from his injuries. But an unknown number of people still remain on the Island, which police considers very dangerous.

"At this stage, it is too dangerous for police and rescue services to go on to the island. The island is currently covered in ash and volcanic materials," he said. There has been no communication from those remaining on the island since the eruption, he said.

"Both New Zealanders and tourists have been caught up in the disaster," police said in a statement.

"Based on the information we have it is likely that there are other (fatalities)," the statement said. "Police are leading the search and rescue operation and we are working to establish exactly how many remain on White Island."


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