The death toll from the volcanic eruption that took place last month on New Zealand's while island recently rose to 21 after police confirmed that a person who was in the hospital died in the hospital on Thursday. The identity of the deceased has not been revealed by the authorities.
The name of the deceased will only be released after the victim's family members are informed. 18 of the 21 victims have died in htospitals in New Zealand while two in hospitals in Australia. New Zealand's Prime MiniJacinda Arden has said that the official investigation into the eruption will take almost a year.
The volcanic eruption at White Island in New Zealand occurred on December 9 last year. It was initially believed that there were 100 tourists on the island when it erupted but that figure was later revised to 47 people. Tour operators and vessels that were in close proximity to the island managed to rescue 23 people from the island before the island was declared unsafe.
The volcano is New Zealand's most active volcano till date and more than half of it is underwater. The last time the volcano erupted was in 2016 and the last major eruption took place in 2000. More than 10,000 people visit the tourist place every year and at the time of eruption over 47 people were on the island. The majority of the people visiting the island on the day of the eruption were Australians, while the US, British, Malaysian, Chinese and German citizens made up the other half.
The White Island volcano has erupted many times, in addition to the eruption in December last year. It had also erupted multiple times in the 1980s. There were eruptions in 2000, 2012, 2013, and 2016 as well.
White Island is monitored by GNS Science with the help of three web cameras, one seismograph, and a microphone to detect volcanic explosions. The organisation has also been reported to make regular trips to the island to test water, gas and soil, and to survey surface deformation.
(with inputs from agencies)