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Volcano Eruption on White Island, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand - Updated Feb 14, 2020 at 2PM  

February 14, 2020 (Valentine's Day). This may be a bit off the usual Dolphin 24 beaten path but we have connections to New Zealand (the Falcon 24/S&S 24 - Dolphin 24 cousins http://dolphin24.org/technical_Dolphin_with_fin_Keel.html) and Varua, a Falcon 24 whose home waters were the Bay of Plenty http://www.dolphin24.org/varua.html

Stu Polhamus (Equinox, Yankee #237) sent us an incredible video of a December 19, 2019 volcano eruption on White Island in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. You can click here to see it but we also did a little 'research' to help with this story. Feb 14, 2020 2 PM Update - Steve B, a regular website reader, with a Dolphin24 owner friend, alerted us that this video is actually a fake produced by a museum in Auckland to alert New Zealanders about volcanic eruption threats. The White Island eruption actually happened and many people died and were injured, but the video itself is FALSE - check out https://factcheck.afp.com/simulation-video-undersea-volcanic-eruption. Welcome to our new world.....Thanks Steve!!!

White Island in the Bay of Plenty

White Island after the eruption

Below an excerpt from a local news source shortly after the eruption

A volcano erupted on a small New Zealand island frequented by tourists, killing at least five people and leaving others injured and missing Monday. The eruption sent a large plume of steam and ash into the sky around 2 p.m. local time on White Island.

Police have confirmed that there were 47 people on the volcanic island at the time of the eruption. At least five were killed, and eight more were missing and presumed dead by Tuesday. Helicopter crews were able to land on White Island despite the danger and helped evacuate the dozens of survivors, some of them critically injured, on Monday.

There were nine people from the U.S. among those on the island when the eruption struck, and two were among those hospitalized Monday. The whereabouts and conditions of the seven others remained unclear

This above aerial photo shows White Island after its volcanic eruption. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said "no signs of life have been seen at any point." The missing and injured included New Zealanders and tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia, Ardern added.

The police said they were "working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."In a tweet by Michael Schade, a short video clip shows the billowing plume from the eruption. "My family and I had gotten off [White Island] 20 minutes before ... Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable"

The following news release was in mid January

A month after the eruption more than a dozen people remain in New Zealand hospitals with life-threatening injuries from the fatal eruption of Whakaari White Island.

Seventeen people have been confirmed dead following the 9 December 2019 disaster, with a further two people missing and presumed dead.

Acting district commander Inspector Warwick Morehu of New Zealand police said the search for two missing victims was suspended on 24 December but staff were “available and ready to respond” if new information emerged.

“Authorities have not returned to the island since the recovery mission was completed,” Morehu said, adding that officers remained in close contact with victims’ families and local iwi (tribes). Nothing short of miraculous': the long road ahead for injured survivors of White Island

“The police investigation on behalf of the coroner is continuing, in parallel with the WorkSafe New Zealand investigation. A rahui (ban) placed on the island by Ngati Awa iwi was lifted late in December, although the ministry of primary industries has warned people not to collect seafood from within a 1km radius of the Island.

Four New Zealand hospitals have continued to treat 13 victims of the Whakaari disaster. Four of those patients remained in a critical condition, the ministry of health said, with three in intensive care at Middlemore hospital in Auckland.

Middlemore’s chief medical officer, Dr Peter Watson, said the eruption was “extraordinarily challenging” and staff were only beginning to come to terms with what had happened. “We had never experienced multiple serious burns on this scale,” he said.

“I think it has been a huge effort by the country and the entire health system. It’s really pleasing that the patients are now getting to a point of recovery where they could leave hospital.”

Burns surgeons were brought in from the US and Australia, as well as around New Zealand, meant some of Middlemore’s overworked staff were able to spend Christmas with their families, and the hospital was preparing to repatriate some of White Island’s victims to their families in the northern hemisphere.

“The problem is the visitors injured are from a long way away – getting to the northern hemisphere is 24 hours and they need medical escorts and teams,” Watson said. “We’re trying to ensure they’re well enough to travel in commercial flights, but also there are many family groups and couples here, so it’s about keeping families together as well because it’s the family support which is really important in terms of recovery.”

Watson said his team would be busy with White Island victims for at least the next two months, with medical transfers hoped to begin at the end of January. The burns ward was still at capacity, but New Zealanders remained generous even a month on, stopping by with food, games and electronic equipment for Whakaari patients and staff treating them.

Donor skin purchased from the US and Australia was used as a temporary skin graft and functioned as a kind of live “dressing”, Watson said. This was now being replaced by victims’ own skin, but was a slow process as skin had to be given time to grow and the operations were delicate and complex.

Thirteen White Island victims repatriated in December remain in burns units in Australian hospitals.

If you haven't yet seen the video Click Here (Its FALSE!!!!)










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