Eruption fears halt plans to get bodies off New Zealand volcano

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Liz Evans

Tremors continue to hinder recovery efforts for those missing after Monday's deadly volcanic eruption on New Zealand's White Island.

Zoe Hosking, his 15-year-old stepdaughter is also presumed dead with her body still on White Island.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted her condolences to the family, whom she said she knows personally.

Oliver Peterson got the latest from Nine News reporter Lizzie Pearl.

Police are questioning why 47 people - including the cruise passengers were on White island at the time of the eruption, according to USA TODAY.

"Our hearts break at the loss of Zoe at such a young age", the Dallow family said in an emailed statement.

Police said that a group of tourists were near the crater of the volcano minutes before it erupted.

Police in New Zealand contacted their family and confirmed their bodies had been found. "Eruptions in the next 24 hours are still likely to occur".

A heavyweight bunker created to protect tourists on White Island in New Zealand should a volcano erupt tragically failed to do its job.

As well as the injured, six people have been confirmed dead after the eruption, while eight remain missing and are presumed to be dead as well. Temperatures reached up to 400C, and clouds of acidic gas and steam enveloped much of the White Island, also known as Whakaari.

Many more of the victims are expected to have been day-trippers from a cruise ship that left from Sydney. Numerous injured suffered severe burns and were being treated at hospital burn units around New Zealand.

"We then located our third friend, Jason Griffiths, in a hospital in the early hours of the next morning", they said.

Authorities believe almost 50 tourists from various countries were on the island when Monday's eruption happened, sending survivors into the sea to escape the scalding ash. The patients' burns are already serious from their close proximity to the volcano during the eruption - but the injuries were also complicated by gases and chemicals, Watson said. Geoff Hopkins watched the eruption from a boat after visiting the island and told the New Zealand Herald the eruption quickly turned menacing.

An update from the New Zealand police posted on their official Facebook today stated that there are now 30 patients in six hospitals around New Zealand - Middlemore, Hutt Valley, Auckland City, Tauranga, Waikato and Christchurch.

Names and faces are beginning to emerge - an Australian teenager and her stepfather, an Australian mother and daughter, and a New Zealand tour guide are among the victims identified so far.

The assumed deaths are part of a total of 11 Australians unaccounted for.

Rescue teams are still unable to enter the island out of concern that the volcano could erupt again.

But the prospects aren't good after GeoNet, the local agency that gathers volcano data, noted increased activity since 4am local time.

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