Tourists in New Zealand are making their way to White Island in the Bay of Plenty in order to get closer to the island's volcano.
This comes after the volcano on White Island, also known as Whakaari, has become increasingly active. The volcano of Whakaari is the country's only active volcano and brings thousands of scientists, volcanologists and tourists flying into New Zealand every year. In recent weeks the volcano has shown a dramatic increase in activity, leading to tourists and scientists alike flocking to the Bay of Plenty in hopes of seeing the volcano erupt. Volcanologist for the governments Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Brad Scott said that “the hydrothermal activity is some of the most vigorous I have seen at White Island for many years.” Though excited by the activity, Scott also expressed concern saying that “this type of activity usually leads to stronger volcanic activity and is a significant concern...Past activity indicated that eruptions could occur with little or no warning.” The concerns of scientists have not deterred tourists and local tour operators are enjoying an increase in trade. A boat skipper told the New Zealand Herald that the increased activity is a “great opportunity for people to get to a volcano that is so accessible, because there's not that many around the world where you can just pull up and hop right on." Volcanic activity on the uninhabited island in New Zealand has been increasing rapidly since November. Scientist have described the activity, which involves the volcano releasing white smoke over the whole island, as a “semi-continuous spectacle” according to GeoNet. Image Sources: 123