At least five people died and a number were “unaccounted for” following the eruption of a volcano on White Island in New Zealand on Monday, December 9, according to local police.
Eleven Australians were among those missing and 13 were hospitalised, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told media on the morning of December 10.
Of the five people confirmed dead, it was suspected three were Australian, he said.
The eruption occurred about 2.11pm local time, on Monday, authorities said.
“While it was initially believed there were approximately 100 people on or near the island at the time of the eruption, we now believe there were fewer than 50,” a statement from police read.
“Some of those people have been transported to shore, however a number believed to be on the island are currently unaccounted for.”
One person was later confirmed as dead but police expected the death toll to rise, according to reports.
This sequence of videos, posted by Michael Schade, show the moments before and after the eruption as black ash is thrown into the air. In the post, Schade said he and his family had left the island on a boat 20 minutes before the explosion.
“(The) boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable,” he wrote.
Note: The download will provide a looped compilation of these videos. The individual videos can be downloaded here, here and here. Credit: Michael Schade via Storyful