NZ volcanic eruption: Divers search continue as death toll rises to 17

In New Zealand, the death toll has risen to 17 as divers continued the search today in the seas around New Zealand’s volatile White Island as two people are still missing five days after the volcano erupted.

Police confirmed one more fatality today of the 47 people present on the island at the time of the eruption. Another 27 remain in hospitals in New Zealand and Australia with 20 listed as being in a critical condition.

Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims said the divers faced unique and challenging conditions as they searched waters with between zero and two metres visibility. They are focusing on an area where a body was seen floating in the water earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for a minute’s silence to be observed at 0111 GMT on Monday in honour of the victims of the eruption.

Scientists monitoring the island said the likelihood of another eruption over the weekend is decreasing, but the risk remained.

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