A massive emergency operation is underway after a volcano eruption on New Zealand’s White Island.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said up 100 people were on or near the island at the time of the eruption and a number were “currently unaccounted for”.

It’s understood many of those on the island were tourists visiting on a cruise ship.

The volcano is located 40KM offshore of the Bay of Plenty and has sent white smoke into the air.

White Island Tours boats were reportedly near the island and five helicopters have been dispatched to assess the situation.

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Prime Minister Ardern said there are people on and around the island who are missing.

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