Bad weather hampers search for missing after deadly NZ volcano eruption


Police confirmed the death of a person being treated at the Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand, in a press release on Saturday-an announcement that takes the official death toll up to 15.

"A man named Troy, one of the passengers returning home, praised the actions of the Royal Caribbean crew, telling Channel 9 "(they) were really good.

A police spokesperson said on Sunday: "While it is most likely that the two remaining bodies are in the water, we need to be sure". An older story is below.

New Zealanders across the country have observed a minute of silence to honour the victims of last week's fatal volcanic eruption, as police continued efforts to recover two bodies.

Divers near New Zealand's White Island search for a body after the volcanic eruption earlier this week.

While total official toll stands at 16, while two bodies remain unaccounted for.

Police have opened an investigation to determine responsibility for the casualties, including tour operators who organize trips to the island. A woman named Joanne told the Australian Associated Press, "people that went on my holiday of a lifetime that I've waited 50 years for and they never got to come home. terrible".

The bodies were airlifted to a nearby ship where the risky operation was monitored.

Drone flights helped locate the six bodies on the caldera before the operation began and the six-strong team laboured to reach them in heavy hazmat suits and breathing gear that restricted movement.

The mission was carried out Friday despite worsening conditions on the island and increasing probability of a second eruption.

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The unrest delayed the recovery of the last victims of Monday's eruption, which occurred as 47 tourists and their guides were exploring the island. Only one is thought to still be on the island, the other was sighted in the water earlier in the week, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"The risk has not passed", Clement said.

The names of people who have died can be published after a formal identification process has been completed, says the New Zealand Police. "It's going to be devastating, we've been operating that part of our business for years", he said.

"A lot has to go right for this to work", he said.

"This is a time of absolute desperation and distress, and to every single one of those families and their friends and their loved ones, our hearts go out at this extraordinarily hard time", she said.

The police on Sunday officially identified four victims, including New Zealand tour guide Tipene James Te Rangi Ataahua Maangi, 24.

Three other patients are in Melbourne's The Alfred hospital.

Whakaari suddenly entered an eruptive phase on Monday afternoon when 47 people - including Australians, Britons, Germans, New Zealanders, Americans, Malaysians and Chinese - were visiting the privately-owned island located 40 km east of New Zealand's North Island.

To mark one week since the blast, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern posted an emotional tribute to Instagram.

Two teens originally from Chicago, Matthew and Berend Hollander, 13 and 16, who had been living in Australia, died in a hospital following the eruptions.