'It didn't look good' - Fisherman says White Island eruption looked like 'a hell of an explosion'

An eruption on White Island this afternoon looked like “a hell of an explosion went on”, according to a fisherman who was off the coast of the Bay of Plenty.

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Dan Harvey was fishing off the coast of Bay of Plenty and says “it didn’t look good” for anyone on the island. Source: 1 NEWS

Dan Harvey told 1 NEWS they were setting their long line in when there was a big burst of steam coming from White Island and nothing above it.

“Quite often White Island is streaming away a little bit but there was a big burst coming out and nothing above it,” he said.

“It just kept expanding and getting bigger, looked like a hell of an explosion went on. I don’t know what it’s like for people on it, but it didn’t look good.”

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The explosion was as active as Mr Harvey had seen White Island in some time.

“Not like that -  in a huge burst," he said. "It’s usually just constantly going but there was a huge burst of ash and steam."

Mr Harvey said he was fishing off Mātātā, north of Whakatāne - about 40km from the island – and was too far away to hear anything.

“It’s calmed down a bit from what I first saw," he added. "It’s definitely slowed down and seems a bit more relaxed than it was.”