First Whakaari / White Island victim named - another victim dies
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Posted December 14, 2019
Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is continuing to lead and co-ordinate the event response to Monday’s eruption on Whakaari/White Island.
Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is supporting the NZ Police recovery operation and coordinating the welfare services to assist and support affected family and whanau. Navy divers today joined Police divers as they continued to search for the two people who remain unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, Coronial Services in Auckland continues to work through the robust process to formally identify tupapaku (the deceased) which allows them to be reunited with their loved ones. At 5 pm today, NZ Police released the name of the first formally identified victim of the even as Krystal Eve Browitt a 21 year old Australian.
Police Deputy Commissioner John Tims, National Operations Commander also confirmed this afternoon that a further person has died following the eruption on Whakaari / White Island, bringing the official toll to 15. The person was earlier being treated at Waikato Hospital. Deputy Commissioner Tims says Police remain focused on supporting families at this terrible time.
Meanwhile, inter-agency welfare teams are supporting patients and their families at Christchurch, Hutt Valley, Waikato and Middlemore Hospitals as well as from Whakatane. In recent days, 13 patients have been transferred to hospitals in Australia and earlier in the week, 3 people were discharged from hospital.
Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has been activated to assist Bay of Plenty Group in providing a seamless continuity of care for the families as they transfer to Auckland to be close-by their loved ones.
In addition to the hospital-based welfare support teams, the Civil Defence Groups have today opened up two family centres in Auckland, to provide a private respite space and access to assistance with transport and other logistics, for as long as required.
The Whakatane Civil Defence Welfare and Support Centre hub for affected families will close tomorrow, reopening Monday. This hub provides access services or assistance from Ministry of Social Development, ACC, Red Cross, Ngati Awa Social and Health Services, Pou Whakaari, Salvation Army and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Photo: NZ Police