There are no more survivors of the volcanic eruption on New Zealand‘s White Island that killed at least five and left more than 30 wounded, police have said.
Steam column issuing from White Island. Jennifer & Alex Simon/TVNZ.
The death toll is expected to rise, with British nationals feared to be among those missing.
“No signs of life have been seen at any point,” police said.
“It is now clear there were two groups on the island,” prime minister Jacinda Ardern said at a Tuesday morning press conference. “Those who were able to be evacuated, and those who were close to the eruption.
“We can confirm that among those currently listed as missing or injured are New Zealanders who were part of the tour operation, and tourists from Australia, the United States, the UK, China and Malaysia. That is to the best of our knowledge.”
Two British women are among those injured and receiving treatment in hospital, the UK high commissioner to New Zealand, Laura Clarke, has said.
Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Tuesday three Australians were feared to be among the confirmed fatalities, with 13 among the injured.
Top officers had said earlier Monday it was too dangerous for emergency workers to search the unstable island for survivors.
Thick smoke from the volcanic eruption of Whakaari, also known as White Island, is seen from a distance of a vessel on Monday. Photo: @SCH via Reuters
About 50 people, New Zealanders as well as foreign tourists, were feared to have been nearby and several were seen near the rim of the crater minutes before the eruption.
Deputy commissioner John Tims said New Zealanders and overseas tourists were among the dead, missing and wounded, and that most of the 18 who survived were injured, including some who were severely burned.
White Island, New Zealand, from the air (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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