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Whakaari/White Island volcano activity increases after minor eruption

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An earlier version of this story described Level 3 volcanic activity as the “highest level.” There are 5 levels in the alert system.

GNS Science has raised the Whakaari/White Island volcanic activity level to 3 after an eruption on Friday at 8:20am

The Bay of Plenty Emergency Management spokesperson said there was no risk to people on land, the main potential danger to the mainland was ash fall, and that it did not appear to have been generated.

But the spokesman said ash fall safety tips and other information had been published through public channels and shared with local media.

In consultation with the BOPRC Harbor Master, they are advising all vessels to avoid the waters around Whakaari/White Island until further notice.

The spokesman said there was nothing to see and people were at risk of harm if a new eruption occurred.

There may also be falling debris and ash in the area around the island.

Scientists are on an observation flight to Whakaari/White Island following a minor eruption this morning.

The volcanic alert level has been increased to 3, but Bay of Plenty Emergency Management says there is no risk to people on land.

said GNS Science volcanologist Geoff Kilgour. Midday report The eruption reached about 3 kilometers, but activity had been quiet since then.

Scientists were sent to the island in a helicopter to see what had happened and would soon report back with more information, Kilgour. saying.

MetService will also be monitoring the area.

“The minor eruption… was seen as a vigorous column of steam over the island,” said GNS Science volcanologist Yannik Behr.

Witnesses have described smoke rising from Whakaari/White Island on Friday morning.

A resident near the island told RNZ that a “good eruption” was occurring with “large plumes of smoke and ash.”

A deadly eruption of the volcano killed 22 people and injured 25 others in 2019.

The tragedy was followed by a lengthy legal process that resulted in the conviction of the company that manages the privately owned island, Whakaari Management. Six other parties pleaded guilty and six had their charges dismissed.

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