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Whakaari/ White Island volcano alert level raised after another 'minor' eruption

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RNZ

25 May 2024, 1:06 AM

Whakaari/ White Island volcano alert level raised after another 'minor' eruptionAerial view of Whakaari / White Island on 24 May, 2024, showing thin, green ash deposits. Photo: Supplied / Craig Miller / GNS Science

GNS Science has again raised the Volcanic Activity Level for Whakaari / White Island to 3 after a "minor" eruption.



It had also raised the aviation colour code to orange, which indicated a volcano was showing heightened unrest with increased likelihood of eruption, or an eruption was underway with no or only minor ash emissions.


GNS Science's camera in Whakatāne shows a minor eruption on Whakaari / White Island on 25 May 2024.

GNS Science's camera in Whakatāne shows a minor eruption on Whakaari / White Island. Photo: GNS Science


Duty volcanologist Yannik Behr said a further minor eruption happened about 8.10am on Saturday morning.


"Footage from our Whakatāne camera indicates that this morning's activity is very similar in size to what was observed yesterday.

"We noticed a vigorous steam-gas plume above the island at 8.10am NZST. As we have no sensors on the island we are relying on webcams and satellite imagery to assess the situation.


"Based on our limited information there were no clear indications of volcanic ash in the plume. If there were, it would be unlikely to reach the mainland under current wind conditions."


Another minor eruption happened on Friday morning, when witnesses described smoke rising from the island.


A resident near the island told RNZ there was a "good eruption going on" with "big plumes smoke and ash".


By evening, however, there had been no other eruptions and the island's activity level was lowered.


In 2019, a deadly eruption of the volcano killed 22 people and injured 25 others.


The steam-gas plume above the island had reverted to more normal levels, and GNS Science volcanologists were continuing to monitor the volcano, Behr said.


This story was originally posted by RNZ News