New Zealand police have recovered six bodies from White Island, four days after the deadly volcano eruption.
Six bodies have been recovered from White Island in a dangerous recovery mission on the deadly volcano.
New Zealand police went back onto White Island (Whakaari) on 12 December to find the eight people still missing after the eruption on 9 December.
Although Royal Caribbean confirmed a number of its passengers were on the island at the time of the eruption, it has not released if those people are any of the recovered bodies.
Divers are searching for at least one body in the island’s waters, but the six already been found are being transported onboard HMNZS Wellington.
Police have said the operation took longer than expected because of the recovery team’s restrictive and heavy protective equipment.
“This has been a harrowing event for the Whakatane community and those family and friends directly impacted by the eruption of Whakaari/White Island on Monday,” said New Zealand police in a statement.
The island’s climate is “highly unpredictable and challenging”, they added.
GNS reports the level of volcanic tremor has declined but remains classed at Level Two, “moderate to heightened volcanic unrest”.
Craig Miller, duty volcanologist at GNS, said: “The combined interpretation of all our data is still that magma is degassing at shallow depths and the situation remains highly volatile.”
Police have already named nine people who were caught up in the eruption – Gavin Dallow, Jessica Richards, Krystal Browitt, Richard Elzer, Zoe Hosking, Karla Matthews and Julie Richards from Australia; and Tipene Maangi and Hayden Inman from New Zealand.
There were 50 people on the island when the eruption happened, including 24 from Australia, two from China, four from Germany, one from Malaysia, five from New Zealand, nine from the US and two British women.
An investigation into the incident has already been launched.