Volcanic unrest

Whakaari / White Island Volcanic Eruption

Thursday 12 Dec - last updated 10:55 am

National Emergency Management Agency Update

10:55 am, 12 December 2019

The National Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the all-of-government response to the volcanic eruption at Whakaari / White Island. There are more than 20 government and support agencies providing assistance to the all-of-government response.

Update on the status of the recovery efforts

All response agencies are absolutely committed to the recovery and return of the bodies still on the island.

GNS Science have advised that it is dangerous to return to the island due to a 50-60% chance of further eruption in the next 24 hours.

GNS Science and the National Geohazards Monitoring Centre continue to closely monitor Whakaari/White Island and police have been working tirelessly with Defence and Fire and Emergency New Zealand to establish a plan for the recovery of the bodies.

Status of those affected by the eruption

There were 47 people were on the Island at the time of the eruption.

  • 24 people remain in hospital across New Zealand.
  • 4 patients have been transferred to Australia with further transfers being considered today (12 December 2019).
  • 3 people have been discharged from hospital.
  • 8 people have been confirmed deceased.
  • 8 people are still unaccounted for and are believed to still be on the island.

All our thoughts are with the families and loved ones affected by Monday’s tragic eruption on Whakaari / White Island. A key focus since the eruption has been on supporting the victims, their friends and families.

Volcanic activity on Whakaari/White Island

GNS Science has published a sixth Volcanic Alert Bulletin confirming the situation as highly volatile with a likelihood of future eruptive activity in the next 24 hours.

The Volcanic Alert Level has reduced to Level 2 as there has not been any further eruptive activity, however volcanic tremor increased to very high levels overnight. The NZ Volcanic Alert Level System reflects the current state of the volcano and does not provide a forecast of future activity.

Read the latest Volcanic Alert Bulletin (#6)

Support and help available

The National Emergency Management Agency has developed an all-of-Government factsheet on support and information available to people affected by the emergency.

Download the Factsheet (540kb)

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Bay of Plenty region

Flooding - Rangitata Area Timaru District

Saturday 7 Dec - last updated 2:15 pm

A local state of emergency has been declared in the Timaru District due to the flooding in the Rangitata area.


For more information and updates please go to  https://www.facebook.com/TimaruDC/ or https://www.timaru.govt.nz/news-and-events/latest-news/cd-timaru-rangitata-river

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Canterbury region