Smoke bellows from Whakaari, also known as White Island, volcano as it erupts in New Zealand, December 9, 2019, in this image…
Smoke bellows from Whakaari, also known as White Island, volcano as it erupts in New Zealand, December 9, 2019, in this image obtained via social media.

Six tourists are now confirmed dead as a result of the volcanic eruption on New Zealand's White Island Monday.

New Zealand police say the latest victim died at an Auckland hospital Tuesday night.  In addition to the six confirmed deaths, eight others are missing and presumed dead and at least 31 have been injured.  New Zealand chief medical officer Pete Watson said at least 27 survivors are being treated for burns to more than 71 percent of their bodies.

Conditions on White Island have made it impossible for rescue crews to return to the island to search for any survivors.  Seismic monitoring agency GeoNet says there is still a 50 percent chance of another eruption within the next day.

People on a boat react as smoke billows from the volcanic eruption of Whakaari, also known as White Island, New Zealand, Dec. 9, 2019 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video. (INSTAGRAM @ALLESSANDROKAUFFMANN/via Reuters)

GeoNet raised the volcano's alert level last month to Level Two on the five-level scale that monitors its chances of eruption.  Still pictures captured by a GeoNet camera installed along the volcano's crater showed a group of tourists walking on the crater floor moments before the eruption.

Deputy Police Commissioner John Tims said earlier Tuesday that a criminal probe had been launched in connection with Monday's disaster, but the agency later issued a statement revising that claim.  

Authorities say about 47 people were touring the island at the time of the eruption, including 24 Australians, with the rest from the United States, Britain, Germany, China, Malaysia and New Zealand.  Some of the victims were passengers from a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean.  

"To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your grief and sorrow, and we are devastated" Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday in Parliament.  Prime Minister Ardern also praised four helicopter pilots who risked their lives to fly to White Island to rescue survivors.  

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said three Australians are feared to be among the six confirmed deaths, while at least 13 were hospitalized.   

White Island, also known by its Maori name Whakaari, sits about 50 kilometers northeast of the town of Tauranga on North Island, and attracts about 10,000 visitors every year.  It is New Zealand's most active cone volcano, with about 70 percent of the island under the sea.