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Friday, 22 January 2021

Scale of volcano tragedy 'devastating,' says NZ PM

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Scale of volcano tragedy 'devastating,' says NZ PM
Scale of volcano tragedy 'devastating,' says NZ PM

Eight people were missing and presumed dead on Tuesday (December 10) after a volcanic eruption covered a small New Zealand island popular with tourists in hot ash and steam, killing five people and seriously injuring about 30 more.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said reconnaissance flights showed no signs of life on White Island, as eyewitnesses detailed the horrific burns suffered by some survivors.

"The scale of this tragedy is devastating," Ardern said.

Ardern said tourists from Australia, the United States, Britain, China and Malaysia were among the dead, missing and injured, along with New Zealanders.

She has said there would be a government inquiry into the incident.

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