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Tremors at NZ volcano island hinder recovery of bodies

Updated: 2019-12-11 09:25

People on a boat react as smoke billows from the volcanic eruption of Whakaari, also known as White Island, New Zealand December 9, 2019 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video. [Photo/Agencies]

WHAKATANE, New Zealand - Increasing tremors on a volcanic island in New Zealand have hampered efforts by authorities to recover the bodies of eight people thought to be left on the island, two days after it erupted, engulfing dozens of tourists in steam and hot ash.

Six people were killed in Monday's explosion at White Island, which lies some 50 km (30 miles) off the mainland, with another eight missing and presumed dead and 30 injured.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Reuters emergency officials were meeting on Wednesday morning to determine if a recovery effort could be launched.

"I've spoken to many of those involved in the operation and they are very, very eager to get back there, they want to bring people's loved ones home," Ardern said.

But a mid-morning update from geological agency GeoNet showed conditions on the uninhabited island remained dangerous, which would likely delay any recovery

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