UPDATE: New Zealand police says at least five dead in volcano eruption

WELLINGTON: At least five people have now been confirmed to have died after a volcano erupted off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, police confirmed on Monday.

New Zealand Deputy Commissioner John Tims said foreigners and New Zealand nationals were on White Island when the volcano erupted.

He said police are unsure of the exact number of people on island but due to risks emergency services cannot access the island at the moment.