White Island: Nash criticises Police communications after eruption

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Dec 2019, 9:11AM

White Island: Nash criticises Police communications after eruption

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Dec 2019, 9:11AM

The Police response to the White Island has become a focus point as families continue to await news of their loved ones. 

Two days after the volcano erupted, resulting in six confirmed deaths so far, at least eight bodies remain on the island.

Police say they haven't begun retrieving the bodies until it is safe to do so.

GNS Science senior scientist Graham Leonard said there had been further escalation on Whakaari. He says it would be challenging seeing and breathing, and there was also a risk of another eruption.

As of 11am Wednesday morning, there was 40-60 per cent chance of another eruption like Monday. This was up from 35-50 per cent yesterday.

In a late night press conference, Police Minister Stuart Nash outlined his expectations to police about how they are to communicate

He says he's not satisfied communications have been transparent or clear as yet.

The Minister says victim identification and recovery is the priority going forward.

But he says it's not business as usual and risk needs to be mitigated to avoid any further loss of life.

Meanwhile the status of several more victims has emerged. Nine News is reporting Brisbane mother Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, have been identified as among the dead. Police told the family of the deaths.

The Dallow family says police have identified the body of Gavin Dallow, 53, and that Zoe Hosking, 15, is presumed dead, with her body on White Island. Dallow's wife and Hosking's mother Lisa Dallow is still in Waikato Hospital.

Meanwhile Jesse Langford, 19, of the missing Australian family-of-four, has reportedly been found to be among the injured.