Leroy N. Soetoro
2019-12-16 19:05:30 UTC
As New Zealand divers carry out a high-risk recovery operation to recover
the body of a person killed in Monday's volcanic eruption on White Island,
police have announced that the official death toll has risen to 15.
Nine police divers were searching contaminated waters for a body spotted
in the water near the island. The water is contaminated because of the
eruption and visibility is limited 6.5 feet or fewer, according to a
"Divers have reported seeing a number of dead fish and eels washed ashore
and floating in the water," Deputy Commissioner John Tims of New Zealand
Police said. "Each time they surface, the divers are decontaminated using
The divers are also operating under the threat of another eruption.
GeoNet, which monitors volcanic activity in New Zealand, estimated on
Saturday that there is a 35% to 50% chance of another eruption on the
island in the next 24 hours. That's a decrease from Friday, when the
experts estimated a 50% to 60% likelihood of an eruption in the next day.
Authorities were able to recover six bodies from the island on Friday,
meaning that two people remain unaccounted for. The police said that even
as divers continue to try to find human remains on Saturday, no land-based
searches will be conducted on the island, also known by its Maori name,
Col. Rian McKinstry from the New Zealand Defence Force told Stuff that on
Friday, the recovery team used hazmat suits with a special protective
layer containing charcoal to filter out noxious gases. The team also used
When the volcano on White Island erupted on Monday afternoon, 47 people
many of them tourists from around the world were there exploring. Some
of the survivors are suffering from major burns to their skin and lungs.
Major questions persist about why so many people were freely wandering
around in an area that was known to be an active volcano.
Police formally identified the first victim of the eruption on Saturday
Krystal Eve Browitt, a 21-year-old Australian citizen. The young woman had
been on a cruise with her parents and sister, according to The Sydney
Morning Herald. Her mother had stayed behind on the cruise, and her other
two family members are believed to be receiving treatment for their
injuries in an Australian hospital.
Browitt's principal from Kolbe Catholic College, Nick Scully, says that
she was a "much-loved member of the Kolbe community that her teachers
describe as a beautiful soul," the Herald reported.
The 15th fatality from the eruption, which police confirmed Saturday, was
a person who had been being treated for injuries at a hospital in New
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has called for a minute of
silence on Monday at exactly a week after the eruption started.
"Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we
can stand alongside those who have lost loved ones in this extraordinary
tragedy," Ardern said in a statement. "Together we can express our sorrow
for those who have died and been hurt, and our support for their grieving
families and friends."
As NPR's Colin Dwyer reported, of the 47 people who were on the island at
the time, 24 were from Australia and nine from the U.S. Others were from
China, Malaysia, Germany, the U.K. and New Zealand.
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Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for cleaning up the disaster
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The Obama-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
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Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
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