Accessibility links

Breaking News

Death Toll From New Zealand Volcano Eruption Rises to 19


This photo released by the New Zealand Defence Force shows an operation to recover bodies from White Island after a volcanic eruption in Whakatane, New Zealand, Dec. 13, 2019.

An American tourist burned in a volcanic explosion on New Zealand's White Island has died, raising the death toll to 19.

Mayuri Singh died Sunday night at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, her family told ABC News. Her husband, Pratap Singh, remains hospitalized.

There were 47 people on White Island when the volcano erupted Dec. 9, killing 13 people initially and leaving more than two dozen others hospitalized with severe burns.

The bodies of two victims have not been recovered and authorities say they were likely washed out to sea and may never be found.

At least 16 other people were killed and more than 20 survivors suffered severe burns. Most of them were tourists from Australia, Britain, China, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand and the U.S.

The White Island Volcano, also known as Whakaari in the Maori language, is located about 48 kilometers off the coast of New Zealand's North Island.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week that official inquiries by coroners and work safety regulators into the eruption could take up to a year, and will carry potential criminal penalties of up to five years in jail.

There has been much criticism of why tourists were allowed on the country's most active volcano.

Recommended

XS
SM
MD
LG