New Zealand volcano: Five dead and eight missing after eruption

New Zealand police have confirmed that five people have died and eight are missing after White Island volcano erupted on Monday as tourists visited.

Thirty-four people survived, with 31 still receiving treatment in hospital.

Two British women were among those receiving treatment, said the UK High Commissioner to New Zealand, Laura Clarke.

Also among those listed as missing or injured were Australian, US, Chinese, Malaysian and New Zealand citizens.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she shared the "unfathomable grief" of those who had lost loved ones.

In a press conference on Tuesday morning, she said further rescue efforts were now "very sadly a recovery operation".

The survivors were taken off the uninhabited island by boat or by helicopter. Emergency services have so far been unable to search the area because of dangerous conditions, with plumes of smoke and ash continuing to rise above the volcano on Tuesday.

Tourists had been seen walking inside the crater of White Island volcano moments before it erupted.

White Island, also called Whakaari, is the country's most active volcano. Despite that, the privately owned island is a tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.