Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Geography [Paper-I]: Geophysical phenomena like Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcanoes, Cyclone, Flood, Landslides.
- On 9 December 2019, the volcano on White Island in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty erupted explosively.
- White Island, also called Whakaari, is the most active volcano of New Zealand.
- The privately owned island is a tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.
Where is the volcano and how active is it?
- The volcano is located in the Bay of Plenty, about 48km (29 miles) from the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
- White Island has been classified as New Zealand’s most active volcano since 1976, when it began 24 years of almost continuous eruption.
- A second “eruptive episode“ started in 2011 and continues today.
- The recent eruption was classified as “moderate” on the volcanic alert system. This was because it only affected the crater area.
- About 70% of the volcano is underwater, with the crater and surrounding peak standing some 321m (1,053ft) above sea level.
- Including its underwater base, White Island is the largest volcanic structure in New Zealand.
Private owned Island
- The Island was bought by Auckland stockbroker George Raymond Buttle in 1936.
- He later refused to sell it to the government but agreed in 1952 to have it declared a private scenic reserve. The island is today still owned by the Buttle Family Trust.
- According to the New Zealand Tourism Guide, the owners of White Island Tours were appointed as the official guardians of the island and access is only granted through designated tour operators.