6 Apr 2009

Tonga's new volcanic area still not safe to visit

10:01 pm on 6 April 2009

Scientists say that new land created by an eruption on Tonga's Hunga Ha'apai Island is still not safe for visiting.

A tourism operator, Gian Piero Orbassano, says that up to a dozen people a day have been travelling to see it by boat but not landing.

He says there's a lot to see from a boat, as the volcanic vents are still smoking and the water around the island remains yellow from sulphur.

But GNS Science's volcano network co-ordinator, Craig Miller, says people should be cautious about going near the island.

He says it's difficult to know how active the area is, because the volcanoes are not being monitored.