Fake videos of White Island eruption go viral

Seventeen might have died in the White island tragedy, but that hasn't stopped unscrupulous people from sharing fake footage of the eruption in an attempt to gain likes on social media.

Several tweets claiming to show live footage of the deadly volcanic eruption have gone viral - with one getting more than 250,000 views.

The video shows an underwater volcano erupting in the middle of the sea, sending a massive wave of ash and smoke in towards the coastline, and wiping out the buildings in its path.

"This video shot automatically from home installed cameras shows New Zealand's White Island volcano eruption on 9 Dec 2019," one person tweeted.

"Please wait for 24 seconds when nature's roar begins and most importantly.....another 24 seconds after the blackout - completely lifeless.

"Wrath of nature."

"Live volcano eruption in White Island of New Zealand. To start, have patience, wait for eight to 10 seconds. After the eruption, in total darkness, wait for about 20 seconds, to see it clear up again," another said, sharing the video to Facebook.

The video has taken in many who have seen it, with one saying it was "incredible and awesome".

"Damn Mother Nature!  You scary!" one commented.

However it is actually a simulation video created for Auckland Museum, showing the devastation an undersea volcano eruption would bring to Auckland.

It clearly shows Rangitoto Island in the background, not White Island - which is more than 200km to the southeast.

The video sharers are now being called out as "despicable" - with many responses from upset Kiwis.

"Take it down d**khead. People died and you want to score points from that?" one person commented on Twitter.

"You know people died here very recently and you use the event to post a lie!? ...  the very worst of Twitter people," was another response.

"F**k you. People died on that island that day," was one short response.