December 24, 2019
Authorities in New Zealand have called off the search for two people they believe were washed out to sea after the White Island eruption.
New Zealand Volcano: Police Call Off Search For Two Missing People
There were 47 people visiting the tourist destination when the volcano erupted on December 9, killing 13 people initially and leaving more than two dozen others hospitalised with severe burns.
The death toll rose to 19 over the weekend, including two people who have not been found.
Police said their decision followed “extensive shoreline and substantial aerial searches from east of White Island to north of Cape Runaway”.
“Sadly no further items of significance have been located,” a statement added.
Police have identified the pair believed to be washed out to sea as New Zealand tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, 40, and Australian teenager Winona Langford, 17.
Meanwhile, the families of two American newlyweds who were badly injured during the eruption said the pair are progressing as well as could be hoped for given the extent of their injuries.
The couple, Lauren Urey, 32, and Matt Urey, 36, from Richmond, Virginia, remain in hospital in New Zealand.
“There are no words to express how horrible this has been for everyone involved, but we are very lucky and grateful that although Lauren and Matt are severely injured, they’re still with us,” the families said.
Both have “a tremendously difficult and long road to recovery ahead of them”.
White Island, also known by its Maori name Whakaari, is the tip of an undersea volcano about 30 miles off New Zealand’s North Island and was a popular tourist destination before the eruption.
New Zealand authorities are investigating the circumstances around the disaster.Related... New Zealand Volcano Looks Eerily Like A Lunar Landscape As More Bodies Are Recovered Doctors Treating New Zealand Volcano Burns Victims Await More Than A Million Square Centimetres Of Skin Two British Women Injured In New Zealand Volcanic Eruption
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