Police and experts plan to deploy early tomorrow morning in an attempt to recover the bodies of those still located on Whakaari – White Island.
In a press conference this evening Deputy Commissioner National Operations Mike Clement outlined conditions were volatile and could change but highlighted Police “had a plan” and would action it at first light.
He told media, “Shortly after first light tomorrow NZDF assets people and capability will deploy to the island assisted by other agencies including NZ Police they will go on the island and make every effort to return them to Wellington and from there we will move those bodies back to the mainland, I have to emphasise the risk is not gone the risk is still present.”
GNS experts say the likelihood of another eruption sits between 40-60% likelihood and conditions are still extremely volatile.
However, Clement cautioned that given the volatility, the situation could change quickly.
“As we near morning we will get a better idea and it is subject to changes and the weather and environmental factors we don’t control. A lot has to go right for this to work, we will all be waiting tomorrow morning to make sure people putting themselves in harm’s way are as safe as possible and our thoughts and prayers will be with them.
We will play things by ear literally and we will make calls as the morning goes by and there are many decisions to be made and the success will be determined by things beyond our control in some respect.”