"No signs of life" left in New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with first responders at the Whakatane Fire Station

Those who can not get in touch with a friend or family member in the wake of the volcanic eruptions are urged to register them by visiting the New Zealand Red Cross website or call the New Zealand Police.

Experienced tour guide Hayden Marshal-Inman, from New Zealand, was the first person to have died to be publicly named as his brother, Mark, described him as a "lovely young man" who died doing what he loved.

A view of White Island after a volcanic eruption December 9, 2019, in this picture obtained from social media.

Increasing tremor activity on a volcanic island in New Zealand has hampered efforts by authorities to recover the bodies of eight people believed to be on the island, two days after it erupted.

"Authorities monitoring the uninhabited island said conditions were worsening and there was now a 40-60% chance of a massive eruption similar to Monday in the next 24 hours".

The official death toll after Monday's explosion on White Island stands at six, with police listing another nine as missing, up from the previous figure of eight.

Up to 50 people were visiting the popular tourist attraction when it exploded on Monday, with five confirmed dead, another 18 injured and the rest missing. Temperatures reached up to 400C, and clouds of acidic gas and steam enveloped much of the White Island, also known as Whakaari.

Matthew Urey, from Virginia in the United States, experienced burns over 80% of his body, while his wife, Lauren Urey, who he had just married, had burns over 20% of her body.

"We absolutely believe that everyone that could have been taken from the island yesterday were rescued at the time of the evacuation", he said.

Former Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne said Mr Marshall-Inman was a keen fisherman and well liked.

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Many people are questioning why tourists were still allowed on the island after seismic monitoring experts raised the volcano's alert level last month.

"I've spoken to many of those involved in the operation and they are very, very eager to get back there, they want to bring people's loved ones home", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters.

But hours later, police put out a statement saying that while they were investigating the deaths on behalf of the coroner, "to correct an earlier statement, it is too early to confirm whether there will also be a criminal investigation".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 11 Australians are unaccounted for and 13 were hospitalized.

Relatives of a newlywed American couple say the husband and wife were severely burned. Barbara Barham told The Washington Post that her daughter Lauren Urey, 32, and son-in-law Matthew Urey, 36, from Richmond, Virginia, were on a honeymoon trip.

Surgeons have been working around the clock on 29 patients in burns units across the country since the volcano suddenly erupted on White Island, off New Zealand's North Island.

However, volcanic tremors on the island "significantly increased" making search and rescue operations more hard. The alert level has increased further after the eruption and remains elevated.

The island had been mined for sulfur until a 1914 accident in which at least 10 people were killed, and a landslide destroyed the miners' village and the mine itself.

The island is about 50 kilometres (30 miles) offshore in the picturesque Bay of Plenty and attracts about 10,000 visitors every year.

Maangi began his job with White Island Tours in September and was really enjoying the position, his cousin, Anihera Paku, said. "It's something unique that pulls people from all around the world".

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