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Five dead, tourists missing after volcano erupts in New Zealand

It's unclear why tourists were still allowed on the island after researchers noted an uptick in volcanic activity.
Credit: Katee Shanls/NZME via AP
In this image made from video, injured from White Island volcanic eruption are ferried into waiting ambulances in Whakatane, New Zealand, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. A volcano erupted Monday on a small New Zealand island frequented by tourists, and a number of people were missing and injured after the eruption.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand police confirm five people are dead after a volcano erupted.

A number of people are injured and missing.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said about 100 tourists were on or near White Island when the volcano erupted and some of them were missing. Medical responders said they believed 20 people were on the island who needed treatment.

There will be questions as to why tourists were still allowed on the island after scientists noted an uptick in volcanic activity. The GeoNet agency said a moderate eruption had occurred and raised its alert level to four, on a scale where five represents a significant eruption.

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