Malaysian national confirmed dead in White Island eruption
An unnamed Malaysian is among the five people confirmed dead after Monday’s eruption at White Island.
In a post on Facebook, the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington said that New Zealand authorities had informed them of the death.
“We are working closely with the local authorities and will continue to update from time to time,” the post said.
“We would like to urge the public to contact us if they have information on any Malaysians being in the area.”
There was only one Malaysian on the island at the time of the eruption, according to Tracey Hook, the CEO of White Island Tours.
The other nationalities were Australian, American, New Zealander, German, Chinese and British.
Volcano did not seem like it was about to erupt: New Zealand expert
There were no indications that the White Island volcano was about to erupt shortly before it killed at least five people on Monday, said vulcanologist Graham Leonard with New Zealand’s Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences.
According to CNN-affiliate Radio New Zealand, Leonard told reporters today that while White Island is the country’s most active cone volcano there was no signs it was especially dangerous on the day of the deadly eruption.
He said it appeared as if the volcano had just erupted suddenly with no precursor signs from seismic monitoring data — which he said was typical for eruptions of mainly steam and hot water.
Leonard said there was still steam and mud jetting out from the active vent area.