What Is The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari About?

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Footage of eruption at Whakaari in The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari
Credit: Netflix

On the third anniversary of the tragic volcanic eruption of Whakaari in New Zealand, Netflix released an informative documentary that recounts the victims' tales.

The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari is yet another documentary that serves as a harsh reminder of how chaotic nature's wrath can bring. And in this documentary, we are again, reminded, of why volcanoes should never be a tourist attraction.

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When Is The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari Coming Out?

Tourists standing around crater of Whakaari in The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari
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Credit: Netflix

Netflix released The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari last December 16, 2022, which is a few days after the incident's third anniversary. The movie runs for a total of 98 minutes.

The movie retells the experience of the victims of the volcanic eruption along with the rescue mission team and paramedics from the New Zealand Coastguard.

What Is The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari About?

Locals helping everyone out in The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari
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The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari shows a minute-by-minute account of the tourists who were trapped while sightseeing on the New Zealand island on December 9, 2019. The incident resulted to the death of 22 individuals and injuring several others.

The documentary is directed by Rory Kennedy and executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.

The official synopsis of the documentary reads:

"A close examination of the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption of 2019 in which 22 lives were lost."

Another in-depth summary reads:

"The film viscerally recounts a day when ordinary people were called upon to do extraordinary things, placing this tragic event within the larger context of nature, resilience, and the power of our shared humanity."

Is Whakaari an Active Volcano?

White Island in The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari
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Whakaari, also known as White Island, is an active stratovolcano off the eastern coast of New Zealand.

According to volcano.si.edu:

"The lake level had decreased. No signs of ash emissions or other eruptive activity were recorded. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5)."

How Often Does Whakaari Erupt?

Survivor of The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari
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Prior to the most recent eruption, the volcano has been known for erupting several times particularly in the 80s. In 2000, a major eruption took place followed by smaller ones in 2012, 2013, and 2016.

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Does Anyone Still Live on White Island?

Rescue mission in The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari
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Whakaari is uninhabited. But it serves as a tourist spot for adventure seekers. The only way to get to the island, however, is by charter or a helicopter.

How Many Were the Victims of the 2019 Whakaari Volcanic Eruption?

Survivor speaks in The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari
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There was a total of 47 people on the island when it unexpectedly erupted at 2:11 pm on December 9, 2019. This number included 24 Australians, 9 Americans, 5 New Zealanders, 4 Germans, 2 Chinese, 2 British, and 1 Malaysian.

From that number, 38 were passengers of Ovation of the Seas, a 12-day cruise ship around New Zealand.

The eruption caused the deaths of 22 people, many of which suffered severe and fatal burns. Two bodies that were later declared dead were never discovered by the authorities.

Some of the tourists who were at Whakaari during the 2019 eruption include Pastor Geoff Hopkins, who visited the island with his daughter for his 50th birthday; Jesse Langford, who vacationed with his parents and sister; and Matt and Lauren Urey, who were honeymooning from America. The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari tells the story of their nightmares from that fateful event.

You can watch the trailer of the documentary here:

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The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari is now available to stream on Netflix.


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