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100 tourists near New Zealand Volcano when it erupted

​White Island volcano eruption

​White Island volcano eruption

At least five people were killed, up to 20 injured and several were reported missing after a volcano suddenly erupted off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island on Monday, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air.

More casualties were feared on White Island, where the volcano erupted at about 2:11 p.m. (0111 GMT), police said.

In pic: This aerial photo shows White Island after its volcanic eruption in New Zealand.

​Where is it located?

​Where is it located?

White Island is about 50 km (30 miles) from the east coast of North Island and huge plumes were visible from the mainland. Volcanologists said the ash plume shot 12,000 feet (3,658 m) into the air.

Ovation of the Seas is a 16-deck cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises. It can take nearly 5,000 passengers and has a crew of about 1,500. It is docked at Tauranga, on the North Island, on a cruise that began in Sydney on Dec 3.

In pic: Coastguard rescue boats are pictured arriving at the marina near Whakatane in Whakatane, New Zealand.

Getty Images
​No-fly zone

​No-fly zone

There seemed to be no danger for people in coastal areas farther away.

The eruption was unexpected, but not unusual, an expert said.

In pic: Emergency services are pictured at the Whakatane Airport in Whakatane, New Zealand.

Getty Images

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