World Isla Blanca, Whakaari, increases the death toll

Isla Blanca, Whakaari, increases the death toll


Another person has He died after a volcanic eruption in New Zealand last month that sent tourists to the rain while ash rained.

Police confirmed on Monday 18 the official death of the eruption. Two other people are missing and presumed dead, although their bodies can never be recovered.

Paul Browitt and his two daughters were on White Island, also known as Whakaari, when the eruption occurred on December 9. He died Sunday at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. One of his daughters, Krystal, died on the island and his body was recovered days later. His other daughter, Stephanie, is being treated at Alfred Hospital.

The hospital said in a statement that it was treating two patients, one in stable condition and the other in critical condition, for burns.

Browitt, an Australian, worked at the Victoria State Revenue Office, where he was "very respected and loved," ABC News reported in Australia.

SOURCE GoogleEarth

What is a cone volcano? The science behind the lethal eruption of New Zealand

"Paul was a strong advocate and provided great support to his colleagues and was a good member of the union," Karen Batt, secretary of state of the Community and Public Sector Union, told the broadcaster. "It's very sad for his family and his colleagues."

When the volcano erupted, 47 people from around the world were on the island, a popular tourist destination, despite increases in seismic activity that had been recorded for weeks.

Thirteen people are believed to have died on the island. The others died from their burns and other wounds in the following weeks.

The New Zealand authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the disaster.

"These questions must be asked and answered," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in Parliament in the days after the eruption.

According to GeoNet, which tracks the seismic and volcanic activity of New Zealand, White Island remains in a state of "moderate to high volcanic distress."

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Ryan Miller of USA TODAY on Twitter @RyanW_Miller


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