At a press conference attended by police and health officials, as well as volcano experts in New Zealand, a preliminary list of victims of the catastrophic and unexpected volcanic eruption on White Island was announced.
New Zealand police have released the names of nine confirmed victims. Seven of them are Australians, two are New Zealanders.
Gavin Dallow (Australia)
Jessica Richards (Australia)
Crystal Browitt (Australia)
Richard Elser (Australia)
Zoe Hosking (Australia)
Karla Matthews (Australia)
Julie Richards (Australia)
Tipene Maangi (New Zealand)
Hayden Inman (New Zealand)
It was also reported at the conference that the rescue operation on the White Island was canceled after GNS Science, the main scientific organization in New Zealand, said that the tremors had intensified and there was a possibility of 60% of a new eruption in the next 24 hours.
The police said they intend to "return to this island," but that this can only happen "when there are no risks." Rescuers will face “serious physical and chemical hazards,” says John Tims of New Zealand Police.
30 casualties remain in burn wards across New Zealand, 22 of whom still require airway support.
Medical professionals are demanding 120 square meters of skin to treat victims, highlighting the severity of burn injuries. It was ordered from the United States. Australia has already provided one square meter.
The Australian Defense Forces will arrive shortly to evacuate injured Australians.
The alert level remains at three, on a scale of increasing volcano activity from one to five.