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Monday, 09 December 2019 02:11

New Zealand volcano webcam captures tourists in crater moments before eruption

Written by Reuters
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(Reuters) - A webcam set up on New Zealand’s White Island volcano shows at least one group of tourists were inside the crater moments before it erupted and blanketed the area in a massive ash cloud.

A crater rim camera owned and operated by New Zealand geological hazards agency GeoNet shows groups of people walking near the rim inside the crater, where white smoke constantly billows at a low level, in the hour leading up to the eruption at 2:11 p.m.

The camera, along with three others from different vantage points, captures and posts images online of the volcano, also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, every 10 minutes.

At 2:00 p.m. the crater rim camera catches a group of people - tiny specks in relation to the vast volcano - right at the edge of the rim.

At 2:10 p.m. - just a minute before the eruption - the group is headed away from the rim, following a well-worn track across the crater.

It is unclear whether the group, which appears to be made up of around a dozen people, were alerted to flee or were continuing a tour, unaware of the looming danger.

Read more at Reuters
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