Police can confirm five people are now confirmed to have died in the Whakaari / White Island volcanic eruption.
Our sincere condolences are with their family and friends.
We are continuing to work as quickly as possible, through a number of channels of information, to confirm exact numbers of those involved, including those who remain on the island.
A number of people have been injured and taken to Whakatane Hospital and Middlemore Hospital.
Both New Zealanders and overseas tourists are believed to involved.
Police is currently taking advice from GeoNet experts, who have advised that due to the current risk environment, emergency services remain unable to access the island.
We are reassessing as information and advice is received, however Police will not be in a position to access the island tonight.
The Police 105 number can be used by members of the public to submit information regarding friends or family who might have been visiting Whakaari / White Island during the eruption.
People from overseas can call +644 9105 105.
At the request of New Zealand Police, New Zealand Red Cross has activated the Family Links website for people wanting to register themselves as safe or register an inquiry about a loved one.
If you are worried about a friend or family member following the White Island eruption, first contact them as you normally would.
If you cannot make contact, you can register them through this website: https://familylinks.icrc.org/new-zealand/en/Pages/Home.aspx
Please note this website does not host an official list of missing persons, and information is submitted by members of the public.
A no-fly zone is in place at 5 nautical miles around Whakaari / White Island.
Police will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.
Issued by Police Media Centre