12:16 Monday, 09 December 2019
Aircraft flying over the island have seen no signs of life.
New Zealand police say they don’t believe there are any survivors left on an island where a volcano has erupted.
At least 5 people are confirmed to have died so far, however local media reports suggest up to 27 people may still be on the island.
It’s still too dangerous for rescue teams to reach White Island but aircraft flying over it have seen no signs of life.
Deputy police commissioner John Tims estimated the number of people still there might be in ‘double digits’.
In a statement released late on Monday night local time, police said they had conducted “a number of aerial reconnaissance flights over the island” had not detected any signs of life.
“Police believe that anyone who could have been taken from the island alive was rescued at the time of the evacuation,” the statement said.
“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.”
Earlier today, Deputy Police Commissioner John Tims said the five victims were of a “range of nationalities”.