Police have confirmed five people are dead following the eruption at Whakaari-White Island earlier today in the Bay of Plenty.
Deputy Commissioner - District Operations John Timms explained a number of people have sustained as a result of the eruption, but says it is too soon for Police to confirm how many people are involved.
Timms said Police were still working through a number of channels of information to confirm exact numbers, including those believed to be still on the island.
Both New Zealanders and overseas tourists are believed to be involved.
Police believe a number of the tourists involved have come from The Ovation of The Seas cruise ship, however, could not confirm the nationalities of those tourists involved.
Due to the current risk, emergency services are unable to assess the island.
Geonet has helped Police complete a risk assessment which concluded the island is currently unstable as the physical environment is unsafe for Police to return to the island.
Police acknowledged concerns of friends and families, advising that a number has been set up for those to contact Police - people in NZ can call 105 or visit the NZ Police website.
People overseas can call: +64 9105 105.
At the request of the NZ Police, the Red Cross (NZ) has set up the Family Links website where people can register where they are for their families to check on them.