The recent eruption at White Island Volcano in New Zealand made international headlines last week. Dozens of unsuspecting individuals were killed when the volcano erupted in a plume of smoke that hasn’t been seen in decades from White Island. It prompted the entire island to be shrouded by volcanic ash, which then suffocated all oxygen from the area. Subsequently, it’s more than likely that not a single survivor remains. Furthermore, the South Pacific Ocean-Island is too unstable for retrieval efforts to begin. What is known is that the bodies will stay mummified with the surrounding ash, ensuring that there isn’t any decay before retrieval transportation efforts begin.
Those on the island weren’t the only individuals injured. One group of tourists had just turned the engines on their boat to return to the mainland when the volcano erupted. Though the sailor managed to get those tourists to safety, the ash cloud nearly enveloped them, and magma rocks burned through the roof. Luckily, nobody was injured on this vessel. However, those who were on Skidoo’s weren’t so lucky. It’s been tallied that five individuals on Skidoo’s were injured from falling volcanic rock.
The surprising and unfortunate aspect of this recent explosion is that it has drastically increased New Zealand’s Tourism Industry. Already their tourism market generates NZD 16.2 Billion. However, that is anticipated to grow by 5% to 7% throughout 2020 because of this recent event. Government officials aren’t complaining, as New Zealand is claimed to be the adventure tourism capital of the world. They’re infamous for their rugged landscapes, bungee-jumping, sky-diving, exotic swimming, and now volcanic explosions.
New Zealand Officials warn that there is limited exposure to White Island and that Navy Authorities will have an increased patrol. This warning was made to illegal vessels that take tourists there without proper documentation. Considering that an active coral reef feeds off the volcanic ash, the increased presence of boats could see a decrease in coral reef life. With the impacts of climate change, the New Zealand Government confirms that they will stop this issue before it becomes too much to handle.
Those travelling to New Zealand for the White Island Volcano should reconsider their final destination. The country has plenty of exotic locations that far outweigh the media-driven events from early December. Just venture to Auckland and see the plentiful excursions that are available.