[Screenshot from Diego Lopes Tareszkiewicz, https://twitter.com/DTareszkiewicz]
At least 15 are dead due to a terrible volcanic eruption off the coast of New Zealand.
Last Monday at approximately 2:11 p.m., lava streamed down Whakaari/White Island.
47 people were on the island at the time.
As reported by the country’s National Emergency Management Agency Sunday, 14 of those were hospitalized, 13 had been transferred to Australia, and two were hadn’t been found.
Take at look at this incredible video:
— Diego Lopes Tareszkiewicz (@DTareszkiewicz) December 9, 2019
Following the natural disaster, officials declared a no-fly zone around the island and encouraged people to seek shelter from “ashfall.” Anyone outside was advised to wear masks and goggles.
On Friday, government had retrieved six of the island’s deceased.
The Police Dive Squad searched Saturday for a body believed to be in the sea.
Deputy Commissioner John Tims released a statement on the hunt’s difficulty:
The water around the island is contaminated, requiring the divers to take extra precautions to ensure their safety, including using specialist protective equipment. Divers have reported seeing a number of dead fish and eels washed ashore and floating in the water. Each time they surface, the divers are decontaminated using fresh water.
And this may be only the beginning: According to GeoNet, there’s a 35-50% chance of a second “eruption occurring that could impact outside of the vent area within the next 24 hours.”
“Two teams of four Search and Rescue and Disaster Victim Identification staff” were attempting to find the remaining bodies Sunday morning, as per police.
Many of the injured were severely burned, prompting the need for 186,000 square inches of skin for grafts:
186,000 square inches of skin are being sent to New Zealand to help treat burn victims of the White Island volcano that killed eight people, with eight more missing and presumed dead https://t.co/FCtVVpkDKE pic.twitter.com/CtXcW1Ce5i
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 12, 2019
NPR reports that, of those on the island at the time of the disaster, nine were Americans.
As of this writing, only one victim has been identified: 21-year-old Australian Krystal Eve Browitt.
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