At least five people were killed on Monday in New Zealand’s White Island by a volcanic eruption. Police said that the death toll could increase, as the actual number of people present it is not known. According to the New Zealand Herald report, Deputy Commissioner of National Operations Commander John Timms told the media that both the victims and the missing persons were tourists from New Zealand and the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.
Timms said that it is not possible to ascertain the citizenship of tourists yet.
So far, 18 people have been rescued and burned.
Timms said police did not know whether the missing people were alive. Along with this, he said that there is a possibility of another explosion.
“The police are not fully aware of how many people have survived in the island, but this number may be in double digits,” he said.
Security forces are also not aware of their conditions, as no contact has been established yet.
The Deputy Commissioner said, “Experts have said that it is not safe for us to go to the island. The island is unstable, and it is not right to go there. It is important that we pay attention to their health and safety, who will go back to the island. ”
The island is currently filled with ash and volcanic debris.
“It’s not a big blast, it’s a kind of ‘throttle clearing’ blast and probably that’s why the debris hasn’t reached the mainland,” said Ken Gledhill of the country’s geological threat Information Center-Gionette.
According to newspaper reports, Gladhill said, the explosion occurred at 2.11 pm and its smoke was seen up to 12,000 feet in the air. Although it calmed down, it was not known if there would be another blast in the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jessica Ardan told the media that an active police search and search operation has been carried out. Our condolences to the affected people.