A Malaysian Confirmed Dead In New Zealand Volcano Eruption With More Yet To Be Found
47 people were on the island at the time of the eruption.
The High Commission of Malaysia in New Zealand revealed that at least one Malaysian was killed in the recent White Island volcanic eruption
The Malaysian embassy based in Wellington confirmed the information in a Facebook post published at 6.40am today, 10 December.
"This morning at 9.30am local time, the High Commission was informed by NZ authorities that at least one deceased is Malaysian. Further details are being obtained as the investigation progress," the statement read.
As the embassy continues to work closely with the local authorities, they urge those with information of any Malaysians being in the affected area to contact them.
The volcano, known as 'Whakaari' in the Maori language, erupted yesterday, 9 December, sending an ash plume 3.6km into the air
The volcano is located 48km from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
According to CNN, 47 people were on the island at the time of the eruption.
The eruption killed five people in total and eight are reportedly missing
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said three of the deceased are believed to be Australians, reported The Guardian.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that New Zealanders and tourists from Malaysia, Australia, the US, the UK, China, and Germany are among the eight people who are missing.
Local police do not expect to find any more survivors.
Ardern added that 31 people sustained injuries, many of them are in critical condition.
Whakaari is the most active cone volcano in New Zealand, built up by over 150,000 years of continuous volcanic activity
Prior to the eruption, many questioned whether the privately owned island should be open for public tours.
According to Reuters, the island brings in more than 10,000 visitors every year.
Monash University Professor Emeritus Ray Cas told Reuters that the island "has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years".
"Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter," Cas commented.
The volcano recorded a fatal eruption in 1914, killing 12 sulfur miners
In April 2016, the volcano underwent a short-lived eruption.
New Zealand science agency GeoNet raised the alert level for the White Island volcano last month because of an increase in volcanic activity, reported Independent UK.