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Whakaari/White Island eruption – Update #1

Whakaari/White Island erupted today, in a short-lived event that generated an ash plume around 12,000 feet above the vent, GNS Science says.

The eruption began at around 2.11pm NZST (0111 GMT).

GeoNet’s webcam images show volcanic ash has covered the main crater floor.

“Ash fall appears to be confined to the island, although there may be a small amount reaching East Cape in the coming hours,” GNS Science duty volcanologist Geoff Kilgour says.

“Our monitoring equipment is still operating, and while we have seen a steady decline in activity, there remains significant uncertainty.

“Currently there are no signs of further eruptions, but we will continue to closely monitor Whakaari/White Island for further signs of activity.”

The Volcanic Alert Level is at 3 – indicating a minor local eruption.

“We understand people were on the island immediately before the eruption and we are concerned for their safety,” GNS Science chief executive Ian Simpson says.

More information will be made available within the next 24 hours.

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