Published: Wed, December 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

"No signs of life" left in New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption


Relatives were forced to continue waiting for news of their loved ones yesterday, with the authorities deciding it remained too unsafe for crews to land on the island and remove bodies. Authorities say they do not expect to find any more survivors since the eruption.

"The fact that the island is uninhabited - it has no emergency services on the island, which is very remote - is the first major concern", Cas said Tuesday night.

As well as being an important tourist draw for the 20,000 people who live here, the volcano has an nearly mystical significance, its regular puffing a feature of the landscape. At least 47 visitors from around the world were on the volcano crater at the time of two explosions in quick succession.

Others were from Germany, Britain, China and Malaysia.

Of those involved, police confirmed that 37 had been passengers and one had been a crew member of the Royal Caribbean International's Ovation of the Seas cruise ship. Another 25 are in critical condition in hospital with severe burns.

Marshall-Inman was a guide for Whakatane-based White Island Tours and and was leading a tour group on a 7-hour day trip from a cruise ship to the volcano when it erupted.

In an emotional statement outside their family home on Wednesday, Gavin's family described him as a "wonderful son and brother".

"He had the kindest heart, it was never about him; he definitely created a ripple effect of happiness to others", she added.

Relatives have not given up hope for Mr Tipene Maangi, another guide thought to be on the volcano when it erupted.

Tourists from at least one tour cruise ship were on the island in the Bay of Plenty, about 30 miles off the northeast New Zealand coast, when the country's most active cone volcano, erupted at 2:11 p.m. Monday (8:11 p.m. Sunday ET), according to GeoNet, the government quake agency.

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"These questions must be asked and they must be answered", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in Parliament.

Those fears were realised this afternoon, with authorities in New Zealand reportedly contacting family members to confirm that Julie and Jessica's bodies had been found.

Without providing details, Tims said police were launching a criminal investigation.

Australia says 13 of its citizens were being treated and 11 were unaccounted for, while two Britons have also been confirmed as injured and a local tour company says two of its guides are missing.

On Wednesday, the family of Gavin Dallow confirmed his body had been found and that Zoe Hosking, Gavin's step-daughter was presumed dead as her body was still on White Island.

"I know how much Julie and Jessica are loved and how terribly devastating their loss is", Palaszczuk said on Twitter.

A few locals laid flowers yesterday at a fence on the waterfront near where the rescue boats had returned with the injured.

An extraordinary plan is being put in place to reach New Zealand's White Island to retrieve the bodies of those left behind.

. It also said volcanic tremors had increased from weak to moderate strength.

GeoNet raised the alert level for the volcano in November because of an increase in volcanic activity.

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