New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that recovery teams were hoping to access the volcanic island on Wednesday where eight people are missing and feared dead, two days after an eruption killed six people.
“That’s everyone’s hope,” Ardern told Reuters in an interview about the possibility of accessing White Island, which lies some 50 km (30 miles) off the mainland.
Ardern said that emergency response officials would meet on Wednesday morning “to again start that process to try and get all information to make those decisions as quickly as possible.”
Police said 47 people were on White Island at the time of the eruption. Twenty-four came from Australia, nine from the United States, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two each from China and Britain and one from Malaysia.
The death toll stands at six. Eight people are missing, presumed dead, and another 30 are being treated in hospitals around the country.