Theweekendleader

NZ volcano toll reaches 16

Wellington

15-December-2019

An Australian national who was injured in New Zealands deadly White Island volcano eruption, has died in a hospital in Sydney, bringing the death toll to 16, police said here on Sunday.

The authorities however, did not release the victim's name or age at the request of his family, reports Xinhua news agency.

Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims said that with three helicopters and eight members onboard, the united squad of search team left for White island early Sunday morning.

"Unfortunately, we did not locate a body," he said.

Tims also mentioned that the search operation lasted only about 75 minutes due to the toxic air condition on the island and the oxygen limit carried by the rescue personnel.

Divers' work under the water was fruitless due to low visibility.

Meanwhile, the process of identifying victims and releasing bodies to their families was ongoing in Auckland.

Four more victims have been identified.

A total of 47 people were on White Island at the time of the eruption on Monday.

Many of the survivors still remain in critical conditions.

White Island, a volcanic island, is a famous tourist attraction which people can explore by boat or by helicopter.

But now all tourist trips to the island have been suspended by the authorities.

-IANS