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New Zealand: Elite unit to recover victims of volcanic eruption


The danger of a new eruption of the Whakaari in New Zealand is high, but soldiers are already recovering the first victims of the volcanic eruption. The police meanwhile start from 16 dead.

Four days after the volcanic eruption on White Island, a salvage team arrived on the New Zealand island. An elite unit is trying to recover the bodies, said Deputy Chief of Police John Tims. Despite warnings from volcanic explorers of a new eruption, the New Zealand police had decided to send a team.

The police said six of the eight suspected dead were already safe and were being prepared for transport to New Wellington, New Zealand.

The danger of a new outbreak has risen recently and, according to seismologists, is now between 50 and 60 percent. However, pressure from the relatives has recently increased the pressure on the authorities to start looking for the bodies on the island.

Together with the eight dead, which are still suspected on White Iceland, the police are now estimated by 16 dead. According to police, two people died in the hospital on the night of Thursday after suffering serious injuries.

47 people originally on the island

In total, at the time of the eruption, 47 people were on the island in the Bay of Plenty, about 50 kilometers off the coast of the New Zealand North Island. Among them were four Germans who were injured, according to the Foreign Office. The other excursion tourists and tour guides came from Australia, USA, UK, China, Malaysia and New Zealand.

More than 20 injured are still in the hospital according to authorities. Many of them are still in mortal danger due to severe burns.

The volcano named Maori Te Puia O Whakaari - "The Dramatic Volcano" - erupted on Monday, producing an approximately 3600 meter high ash cloud.

Tourists have been able to get to the island by day trips by boat and explore them. Every year, the island is visited by about 10,000 tourists. Since the recent eruption the island is closed.

Source: spiegel

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