Risk assessment maps released by GNS Science (dated 02 and 12 December 2019) show the crater floor of Whakaari/White
Island is still a high-risk area, with a further eruption looking increasingly likely.
The maps were released at a National Emergency Management Agency media briefing in Wellington today by GNS Science
volcanologist Graham Leonard.
Risk assessments like this are regularly carried out on Whakaari/White Island, and the shaded areas indicate fatality
risk decreasing as distance from the crater increases.
“Whakaari/White Island is an active volcano, and the estimated chance of an eruption is increasing every day,” Dr
“Today is less safe than yesterday, and the day before that.
“The red zone shows an area that would be considered a no-go for GNS Science staff, and the yellow zone would only be
accessible in exceptional circumstances.
“GNS Science has provided this information to New Zealand Police, to support decision making about the safety of their
Dr Leonard says the zones change daily and we will update the map, because Whakaari/White Island is highly volatile.
“This level of volcanic activity is the highest we’ve seen since the eruption in 2016.
“Our monitoring equipment is providing real-time data to the National Geohazards Monitoring Centre at the GNS Science
campus in Avalon.
“GNS Science is providing a constant stream of information to the emergency response agencies and the public, and will
update this forecast tomorrow – or sooner if there is a dramatic change.”