International PM sees 'hard day' for Australians as volcano toll mounts

PM sees ‘hard day’ for Australians as volcano toll mounts

He described the tourist excursion to the volcano as a "time of great innocence and joy interrupted by the horror of that eruption".

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday would be a “very hard day” for families of Australians caught up in a deadly eruption at New Zealand’s White Island volcano, with three feared dead and eight others missing.

Authorities hold out no hope for those tourists or guides still missing, with Morrison saying the rescue operation had now “moved into recovery phase”.

“With 11 Australians unaccounted for, three of those are feared to be amongst the five that have already been identified as deceased,” he told reporters in Sydney.

He described the tourist excursion to the volcano as a “time of great innocence and joy interrupted by the horror of that eruption”.

- Advertisement -

He said he was in frequent contact with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, adding that they had feared “very difficult” news and “it is proving to be so.”

“This is a very, very hard day for a lot of Australian families whose loved ones have been caught up in this terrible, terrible tragedy,” Morrison said.

A total of 47 people were at the popular tourist site in the Bay of Plenty when it erupted Monday, including 24 Australian cruise ship passengers aged between 17 and 72 years old.

The Ovation of the Seas left Sydney last week on a 12-day trip that would take in the Bay of Islands and several other tourist spots in New Zealand, including the waters around White Island.

So far, five are confirmed dead, 31 are receiving treatment in hospital for injuries including severe burns, eight are missing and three have been released from hospital, New Zealand police said.

Thirteen Australians were among those being treated in hospitals across New Zealand, including a number who were in a critical condition, Morrison said.

“Obviously there are quite severe burns issues and that’s why they are in so many different hospitals because they have been taken to the various burns units across New Zealand,” he said.

As well as tourists from Australia, those caught up in the disaster include visitors from United States, Britain, China and Malaysia, and New Zealanders who were acting as guides.

The threat level at the volcano had been raised in recent days, and questions are already being raised about whether it was safe for tour groups to visit.

© Agence France-PresseFollow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Viral video: 4 cyclists disregard traffic rules and turn on red light along Keppel Rd

Singapore – Video footage of cyclists blatantly disregarding the red light at a junction and turning towards Anson Road is circulating online, sparking yet another call from members of the public for stricter measures against reckless road users. On Wednesday (May 5),...

Travellers already in quarantine express dismay over 7-day SHN extension

Singapore—The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced new restrictions on travellers from high-risk countries on Tuesday (May 4).  All travellers coming from these countries are now subject to 21-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities. The 21-day SHN now applies to travellers...

Workers’ Party to continue with face-to-face MPS, but suspends house visits

Singapore—The Workers’ Party (WP) announced on Tuesday (May 4) that its Members of Parliament will be continuing face-to-face meet-the-people sessions (MPS). This is to accommodate elderly citizens and residents who are unable to connect online, the party said in a statement in...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent