New Zealand officials ‘will make every effort’ to find missing after volcano blast

This photo shows Royal New Zealand Navy search personnel during a recovery operation on White Island (Whakaari), New Zealand on Friday. Police say a total of 15 people have died and more than 24 were injured in an eruption on White Island on Monday. Photo courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Navy

Dec. 15 (UPI) — A followup attempt to recover two people missing after a deadly volcanic explosion in New Zealand on Monday was not successful, police said Saturday.

At least 15 people are dead after a volcanic explosion on an island off the north coast of New Zealand known as both Whakaari and White Island.

Officials say 47 people were on the island at the time of the eruption. Thirteen people have been hospitalized due to severe burns.

Two people remain unaccounted for in search and rescue efforts, and police commissioner Mike Bush said the effort to find them — which includes helicopter searches and dives — has been tough going, but they intended to “make every effort” to find the missing parties.

Water is contaminated in the area near the island and visibility is poor due to Monday’s eruption, making search efforts more difficult.

And the volcano — New Zealand’s most active — is still a dangerous place to be: a geological monitoring agency said there was a 30 to 45 percent chance of interruption in the next day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here