There were families on holiday. A honeymooning couple. All there to see one thing: the uninhabited moonscape of New Zealand’s most active volcano, White Island.
It’s a private island around 48 kilometers (30 miles) off the east coast of the country’s North Island, and over 10,000 people visit the volcano each year. That’s a tiny fragment of the millions of tourists who visited New Zealand in 2019, many of them drawn to the country’s famous natural beauty and outdoor pursuits.
But on Monday afternoon, tragedy struck. White Island erupted, killing at least six people and leaving over 20 fighting for their lives.