18 February 2020,   04:51
At least 5 people are dead and dozens are injured - volcano erupts off New Zealand

At least five people have been killed and dozens more are injured or still missing after a volcano erupted off the coast of New Zealand while tourists were climbing on it.

Whakaari also known as White Island, located 48km off New Zealand’s North Island, erupted around 2.11pm local time on Monday, blowing huge plumes of smoke and debris 3,657m into the sky.  

It is thought around 50 people were on the island at the time of eruption, including New Zealanders and overseas tourists. Australia has confirmed some of its citizens were involved. 18 survivors have been evacuated suffering injuries including severe burns and five people are dead, leaving an estimated 27 still unaccounted for.