17 Mar 2006

Man missing after volcanic eruption on NZ's Raoul island

5:03 pm on 17 March 2006

A New Zealand Department of Conservation worker is missing after a volcanic eruption on a remote island seven hundred kilometres north east of Auckland.

Six workers were stationed on Raoul island and department officials say one is unaccounted for after the eruption this morning.

The staff member went missing during a routine mission to check the water temperature of a lake.

An evacuation has been ordered and officials say a helicopter should reach the stranded staff early this evening.

Steam, ash and mud were thrown out of the volcano in the eruption that is the first since November 1964.