As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was being briefed on the terrible toll likely on White Island after it erupted, newsrooms around the world began breaking into bulletins with the events unfolding in New Zealand.

Three eruptions took place, killing at least five and a further eight reported to still be missing.

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The Guardian reported how tourists became first responders to tend to the injured after the massive blast.

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Michael Schade, who was visiting the island with his parents, said: "We were taking photos and videos and then it dawned on us what had happened.

"Some people had pockets of burns, other people were fine, and others were really rough.

Reuters reported the grim news of little hope for anyone left on the island, as did many, many other agencies.

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