White Island eruption: New photos show steam, gases still surging from crater

New images from White Island show steam and volcanic gases are still surging into the air from the crater.

Streaming from the cameras on the island was turned off in the aftermath of the blast, as authorities launched a recovery operation for the victims.

The last images taken in the minutes before the blast showed a group of tourists close to the crater's edge.

GNS Science has now made the volcano camera feed available again to its website.

The new images show plumes of steam and volcanic gases are still surging into the air.

A photo of the steam.
A photo of the steam. Photo credit: GeoNet

The landscape around the crater is still grey, believed to be the remains of the ash pushed out by the explosion.

A GeoNet bulletin issued on Wednesday warns Whakaari/White Island remains "in an elevated state of unrest" with the vent area "very hot" (440C).

"Very hot gas and steam continues to discharge from vents created by the eruption on December 9th," it warns.

"An explosive eruption from the active vent area remains possible and could occur with no precursory activity."

A photo of the steam.
A photo of the steam. Photo credit: GeoNet

"This style of eruption could be driven by the collapse of unstable material around one of the vents, or by a marked decrease in gas emissions allowing water from the reforming crater lake or geothermal system to enter the active hot gas vents.

"Sudden steam/gas eruptions from other active vents are also possible."

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