NZ police say no more survivors expected from volcano eruption

One of NZ's most active volcanoes erupts sending emergency services scrambling

One of New Zealand's most active volcanoes has erupted

New Zealand's emergency management ministry advised people living near the affected area should consider staying indoors with windows and doors closed to limit the entry of volcanic ash.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were "a number" of tourists in the vicinity, both from New Zealand and overseas.

But officials said it remains too unsafe for emergency services to access the island and search for those missing.

Earlier today, it was believed around 20 people were in the area following the eruption. In addition to the dead and missing, 31 survivors were hospitalized and three others were released, officials said. The Civil Defense Ministry said that the area should be considered risky and that a news conference was being organized for later in the afternoon.

"Your loved ones stood alongside Kiwis who were hosting you here and we grieve with you".

A missing persons list which aims to reunite concerned family members with their loved ones shows up to five people with a United Kingdom birthplace still unaccounted for.

At least 50 people were believed to be on or near a volcano on New Zealand's White Island when it erupted on Monday, "with a number" of them remain unaccounted for, police said.

"We don't have any further information at this stage". Up to 50 people were believed to be on the island.

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Police are still working to determine exactly how many people were affected, and how many remain on the island.

Information on the list is submitted by members of public.

Perry reported from Wellington, New Zealand.

She said: "Police were alerted at 2.17pm".

"If you can not make contact, please register them through our Family Links website".

Coastguard rescue boats are seen, below, next to a marina near Whakatane, about 40km (25 miles) south of White Island.

The country's most active cone volcano has erupted several times before, most recently in 2016 and during the 2012/2013 period.

Royal Caribbean advertised a "White Island Volcano Experience Cruise and Guided Exploration" at a cost of $324.00 (US) per adult.

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"We will offer all possible assistance to our guests and local authorities".

Tourist, Michael Schade, was on the Island just before the eruption took place, and has documented the experience on Twitter.

"We are unsure of the numbers and unsure of their well-being", deputy police commissioner John Tims told a news conference, adding that rescuers could not access the island because of risks, but without elaborating.

Like scenes from ancient Pompeii, footage captured by tourists and shared on social media showed ash-covered survivors on a large rock, scrambling to board a rescue boat. He said one woman was badly injured but seemed "strong" by the end.

The service decreased its Volcanic Alert Level from an initial reading of a 4 to a 3 on its 5-point scale, meaning it is a minor volcanic eruption posing a threat only near its vent.

She said levels of activity "have been relatively high since September, and even more elevated over the last couple of weeks", with small earthquakes and more volcanic gas detected than usual.

Whakaari/White Island is situated 48km from the east coast of the Bay of Plenty.

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