A moderate explosive eruption occurred at White Island (Whakāri) at approximately 8:09pm NZDT last night. The eruption lasted about 1 minute based on data from acoustic and seismic sensors, and was confirmed by subsequent analysis of web camera images during daylight hours. As a consequence of this activity the Volcanic Alert Level is now raised to Level 2 and the Aviation Colour Code to Orange.
Observations from the web cameras show an explosive eruption producing an ash cloud column that expanded across the Main Crater floor. New mud deposited on the crater floor is evident in the web camera images from the crater rim this morning. The present activity is a continuation of the unrest observed at White Island for the past 15 months and hazardous eruptions of this type may occur with no warning. This eruption is larger than recent events and would have been life threatening to people on the island.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.
Contact: Brad Scott