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Source: New Zealand Police

The Police Eagle helicopter, rescue helicopter, and NZDF aircraft have undertaken a number of aerial reconnaissance flights over the island since the eruption.

No signs of life have been seen at any point.

Police believe that anyone who could have been taken from the island alive was rescued at the time of the evacuation.

Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island.

Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already.

As part of the recovery a NZDF ship will approach the perimeter of the island at first light to deploy drones and observational equipment to further assess the environment.

Police continue to receive information and advice from GeoNet experts to support the recovery operation.

The Police Disaster Identification (DVI) team are assembling in Whakatane to await deployment.

Both New Zealanders and overseas tourists are believed to involved, and a number were from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.

The Police 105 number can be used by members of the public to submit information regarding friends or family who might have been visiting Whakaari / White Island during the eruption.

People from overseas can call +64 9105 105.

They can also use the online form at the Police website here.

At the request of New Zealand Police, New Zealand Red Cross has activated the Family Links website for people wanting to register themselves as safe or register an inquiry about a loved one.

If you are worried about a friend or family member following the Whakaari / White Island eruption, first contact them as you normally would.

If you cannot make contact, you can register them through this website: https://familylinks.icrc.org/new-zealand/en/Pages/Home.aspx

The friends and family of those involved remain at front of mind for Police.

Support is being put in place and Police are working to provide them with information as it becomes available.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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