December 9, 2019 / 6:12 AM / a month ago

Factbox: Previous volcanic eruptions in New Zealand

(Reuters) - At least five people were killed, up to 20 injured and several were reported missing after a volcano suddenly erupted off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island on Monday, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air.

Smoke bellows from Whakaari, also known as White Island, volcano as it erupts in New Zealand, December 9, 2019, in this image obtained via social media. GNS Science via REUTERS

Here are some previous volcanic eruptions in New Zealand:

1914: The White Island volcano’s last fatal eruption kills 10 sulphur miners.

Aug. 1938: The White Island volcano erupts in the Bay of Plenty off North Island.

1953: An eruption at Mount Ruapehu on North Island wrecks a railway bridge just before the arrival of a Wellington-Auckland express train, plunging it into a river and killing more than 150.

Feb. 20, 1992: The White Island volcano, then termed New Zealand’s most active, spews a huge column of grey ash as scientists prepare to venture into its crater on a routine study.

Sept.-Oct. 1995: Mount Ruapehu erupts in several bursts, sending clouds of ash 10,000 meters (32,808 ft) into the air.

Three volcanic peaks in the central part of the North Island, Mount Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro, form the southern tip of the Pacific Rim of Fire, an arc of active volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean.

(GRAPHIC - Pacific ring of fire: here)

June-July 1996: Mount Ruapehu erupts, belching glowing car-sized boulders and disrupting air traffic.

Mar. 2006: Volcanic eruption on remote Raoul Island, part of a nature reserve in the Kermadec group, causes plume of steam and ash, besides spewing mud from a lake. The island is 1,000 km (600 miles) northeast of New Zealand.

Mar. 18, 2007: The volcanic crater lake at Mt. Ruapehu bursts its banks, sending a mudflow toward the rural community of Tangiwai.

Aug. 2012: Mt. Tongariro, dormant for more than a century, spews boulders and spreads an ash cloud as it explodes with bright flashes and thunderous booms.

Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Alex Richardson

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