Wellington, Dec 10 (IANS) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Tuesday that “no signs of life have been seen at any point” after helicopters and aircraft have undertaken a number of aerial reconnaissance flights over the island since a volcanic eruption.
Five people have been confirmed dead and eight others are still missing, presumed dead, in the volcanic eruption in New Zealand’s White Island in the Eastern Bay of Plenty of the North Island on Monday. Thirty-one people are in seven hospitals and three have been discharged so far, according to the police.
Amongst those currently listed as missing or injured in a volcanic eruption in New Zealand’s White Island are New Zealanders who were part of the tour operation, and tourists from some other countries, including Australia, the United States, Britain and Malaysia, Ardern said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is now clear that there were two groups on the island — those who were able to be evacuated and those who were close to the eruption,” Ardern said.
An official from the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand told Xinhua that emergency response has been activated. The embassy is working with local police to check if there are any Chinese nationals among the victims.