- 25 people are now fighting for their life after the White Island disaster
- Six have been confirmed dead, while 8 are still missing
- The volcano could erupt again in 24 hours
Twenty-five people are now in critical condition and are being treated in New Zealand hospitals following the sudden eruption of White Island volcano in New Zealand. Six people have been confirmed to be dead with the unnamed sixth victim succumbing to severe injuries while being treated. Authorities fear that the death toll may rise. Eight of the 47 tourists that were on the island are still missing.
Visitors with their tour guides were on the popular island touring New Zealand’s most active volcano when it erupted without warning on a Monday afternoon. According to White Island Tours chairman, Paul Quinn, they “had no indication of this event occurring,” as reported on CNN.
White Island is still dangerous for search and rescue operations.
Authorities are now gathering more information on the dead and missing, as well as those who are in critical condition receiving treatment for physical and inhalation burns.
Police say that the island is still too dangerous for a search and rescue effort. On Tuesday, police said those who may still be on the island could not have survived the disaster. Government-backed agency GeoNet warns that the volcano has a 50% chance of blowing up again within 24 hours.
Deceased victims will still go through a rigorous identification process so authorities can’t disclose their identities just yet. One dead victim, however, has already been identified as Hayen Marshall-Inman, a White Island Tours guide, who lost his life during the eruption.
Tourists on nearby boats took to social media to share about the disaster.
Emergency staff is at full capacity during the disaster
White Island Volcano could still erupt within 24 hours.
Despite being an active volcano, White Island or Whakaari is still popular among daredevils who don’t mind wearing gas masks and hard hats just to see the majestic volcano up close.
Every year, around 10,000 tourists flock the area. White Island eruptions have become more frequent in the last 50 years, with the most recent eruption in 2016.