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Death Toll Rises To 17 In New Zealand Volcano Eruption

The Dec. 9 eruption occurred on the popular White Island, a well known tourist destination.

The death toll resulting from a volcanic eruption on a privately owned New Zealand island has risen to 17, authorities said.

The Dec. 9 eruption occurred while 47 people were on the popular White Island, a well known tourist destination, officials said. White Island is also known by its Maori name, Whakaari. 

Police were advised of the latest death at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Deputy Commissioner of Police John Timms said in a statement. Police have not identified the person, who died at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. 

An aerial view of the Whakaari, also known as White Island volcano, in New Zealand, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva&nb
An aerial view of the Whakaari, also known as White Island volcano, in New Zealand, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva 

The latest death follows an announcement on Tuesday that police were scaling back their search for two missing people who are now presumed dead. 

The bodies of Winona Langford, a 17-year-old Australian, and Hayden Marshall-Inman, a 40-year-old New Zealand tour guide, are believed to have been washed out to sea, according to police. 

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