Five Killed, Several Missing after New Zealand Volcano Eruption

Rescue Operations Were Put on Hold as the Island Remained Unstable

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Five people were killed in a volcano eruption in White Island, New Zealand, on Monday. The island is a popular tourist destination and is located about 50km (30 miles) from the east coast of North Island.

Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims said Dozens of tourists were exploring the moon-like surface when the country’s most active volcano erupted.

Several people are still missing, but rescue operations were halted until conditions became safe. The exact number of those missing was not immediately established, but the number is believed to be in the double digits.

Experts said the island remained unstable after the eruption that occurred at about 2 pm local time (01:00 GMT), throwing an ash plume about 3,660 metres (12,000 feet) high.