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Ovation passengers caught up in volcanic eruption

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https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/white-island-volcano-eruption-plumes-of-smoke-reports-of-injuries-in-bay-of-plenty/news-story/5cb1553515e0da994d4ad3587df99ff8

An evolving situation, it appears cruisers from Ovation may be caught up in a volcanic eruption at New Zealand's White Island, near the Port of Tauranga.

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From Royal's Australian homepage -

White Island Volcanic Eruption (New Zealand) - Monday, 09 December, 2019

4pm - During Ovation of the Seas call to Tauranga today, a shore tour was visiting White Island at the time of the volcanic eruption earlier this afternoon. We do not have any additional details to share at this time. Ovation of the Seas will remain overnight until we learn more about the situation. We will offer all possible assistance to our guests and local authorities.

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Passengers from Ovation of the Seas are among the injured and missing people, and at least one person has died, after a volcano erupted on New Zealand's Whakaari (White Island).

Initial reports suggested 100 visitors were on or near the island at the time of the eruption, but police have since halved the estimate as some of those people have been transported to shore, according to an report in the NZ Herald.

Tourism Bay of Plenty spokeswoman said a helicopter and a tour boat have still not been accounted for, the article states.

The eruption occurred on Monday afternoon around 2.15pm, with several rescue helicopters attending. An emergency operation centre has also been set up at Whakatane Hospital to work alongside Civil Defence.

Royal Caribbean's 4,905-passenger Ovation of the Seas docked at the nearby Port of Tauranga this morning and it is understood that many of the missing tourists were from the ship, visiting White Island on a tour boat. Ovation of the Seas was due to depart this evening but instead will stay in Tauranga tonight.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Cruise Critic: “We can confirm that a number of our guests were touring the island today. We do not have any additional details to share at this time. Ovation of the Seas will remain overnight until we learn more about the situation. We will offer all possible assistance to our guests and local authorities. Please keep all those affected in your prayers.”

New Zealand Cruise Association released a statement that it is "very concerned" about the welfare of the cruisers.

“Our primary concern right now is with the wellbeing of the passengers and all those involved. We would like to extend our heartfelt concern to the passengers and their families,” NZCA Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Our hope is that everyone will be recovered quickly and unharmed, but at this time we have no further information.”

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How sad. 

Hits close to home as I have this excursion booked on a cruise in a few months time.  

1873148929_Whitelsland.jpeg.596f3e5e89916d719377d1bae5ef0a66.jpeg

On a recent stop in Guatemala we drove past a village that had been wiped out by a pyroclastic flow from a volcano last year.    They too have active volcanoes.

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I heard on the news this morning (not that I believe much of what I hear in the news on television, anymore) that there were no survivors ON the island.  It didn't say anything about folks who may have been in a boat nearby.  I sure hope this is wrong information.  So very sad and an also fascinating at the same time.  Mother nature is still in control !!

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I think this is the most terrifying quote for me:

Quote

GeoNet cameras providing a live feed from the volcano showed more than half a dozen people walking inside the rim at 12.10pm AEDT (2.10pm on the island), before images went dark when the eruption occurred minutes later.

😢

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Oh yikes. Awful. Sounds like there isn;'t much hope for the people missing sadly.

I do have to wonder why they sold tours to this place. Did they know that it would be very risky?

I hope that everyone else is safe.

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They sell excursions because people want to experience it.  

The tour operator is a local company that does these tours everyday even when cruise ships aren't present.  They are very popular.  The tour operator lost employees. They didn't know this was going to happen. Hindsight is 20-20.

Until last summer the federal government had a visitors center and operated a National Park on the rim of a volcano on the big island of Hawaii.  It's been closed since the 2018 eruption.  Why would the U.S. government run a park open to the public on the edge of an active volcano?   

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1 hour ago, monctonguy said:

While I feel sorry for any loss of life, I always wonder why ppl would do this.

To each their own..but if you choose to visit the most active volcano in New Zealand on an ISLAND....what's the escape plan?..hmmmm

 

 

Visiting volcanos is big business. Look no further than Hawaii for some prime examples.

11 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I'm no geologist but I thought there were pretty obvious "signs" when eruptions are imminent.  How could this possibly have taken everyone by such a surprise ?

Volcanos are not very predictable at all. Refer to Mt. St. Helens for exhibit A of that.

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18 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I'm no geologist but I thought there were pretty obvious "signs" when eruptions are imminent.  How could this possibly have taken everyone by such a surprise ?

I was in one of the provinces around Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines when it erupted in 1991.  We were at Alert Level 5 when it erupted.  According to the news this morning, the volcano in New Zealand was only at Alert Level 2.

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49 minutes ago, PG Cruiser said:

I was in one of the provinces around Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines when it erupted in 1991.  We were at Alert Level 5 when it erupted.  According to the news this morning, the volcano in New Zealand was only at Alert Level 2.



I left NAS Cubi Point shortly before the eruption.  When we went back down there, the damage and destruction I saw left me speechless.  

 

edited:  I was also there for the 1990 earthquake.  I'll take a good old blizzard over volcanoes and earthquakes any day of the week.

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34 minutes ago, teddy said:



I left NAS Cubi Point shortly before the eruption.  When we went back down there, the damage and destruction I saw left me speechless.  

 

edited:  I was also there for the 1990 earthquake.  I'll take a good old blizzard over volcanoes and earthquakes any day of the week.

I lived 5 minutes away from the base.  Those three years were tough times for us in Olongapo/Subic.  1990 Earthquake, 1991 Pinatubo Eruption, 1992 Bases Pullout.

(Sorry for the hijack)

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from the past few months, i have been on a knowledge hunt, studying Volcanoes.    As for this one, from what i have read,  It's listed as an active Volcano...  as for the eruption, there was little to no warning, hence why people were  spotted inside the volcano and the rim.

 

Normally all Volcano will show signs of activity before an event.   Most of all Volcano around the globe are studied.  GPS electronic devises are setup on the volcanos to measure movement..   

Sad  

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20 minutes ago, Rene Desmarais said:

from the past few months, i have been on a knowledge hunt, studying Volcanoes.    As for this one, from what i have read,  It's listed as an active Volcano...  as for the eruption, there was little to no warning, hence why people were  spotted inside the volcano and the rim.

 

Normally all Volcano will show signs of activity before an event.   Most of all Volcano around the globe are studied.  GPS electronic devises are setup on the volcanos to measure movement..   

Sad  

Thanks for the insight !!

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2 hours ago, Matt said:

Visiting volcanos is big business. Look no further than Hawaii for some prime examples.

Volcanos are not very predictable at all. Refer to Mt. St. Helens for exhibit A of that.

Mt St Helens erupted after 3 months or so of studied  activity Ex: tremors,  growth  on one side (buldge)

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Ok, found more info,  this is not looking good for the Tour operator!!!! , but what about Royal ?

 

Quote "Scientists have revealed the frightening signs the 321 meter volcano was about to erupt in the weeks leading up to Monday's explosion."

Quote"  'It showed increased activity for the last few weeks and so we raised the alert level,' GeoNet Project Director Dr Ken Gledhill told a press conference on Monday afternoon. 

'It has quietened down, but we can't be certain there won't be another eruption in the next 24 hours.'

Dr Ken Gledhill said it wasn't a 'particularly big eruption' and likened it to the volcano 'clearing its throat'.   "

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7771185/The-terrifying-warning-signs-New-Zealands-White-Island-volcano-erupt.html

 

 

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