Australian man and stepdaughter died in New Zealand volcano eruption, family says


A tour operator’s boat to White Island is seen at the harbour in Whakatane, New Zealand, December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A 53-year-old Australian man died alongside his teenage stepdaughter when a volcano erupted in New Zealand, their family said on Thursday, the latest victims of the disaster to be identified.

New Zealand police have identified the remains of Gavin Dallow, while his stepdaughter Zoe Hosking, 15, is missing and presumed dead on the White Island, the site of Monday’s eruption, the family said.

“Our hearts break at the loss of Zoe at such a young age,” the Dallow family said in an emailed statement. “We mourn the loss of Gavin and Zoe.”

The two are the latest Australians to be identified after the deaths of a mother and daughter were confirmed.

Brisbane woman Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, had been confirmed dead after the eruption, family friend John Mickel told reporters.

The two left for New Zealand last Monday and were due home this weekend.

The death toll stands at six, with eight missing and presumed dead and 30 injured. But the island is still too dangerous for rescuers to visit.

There were 47 people on White Island at the time of the eruption. Twenty-four of those were from Australia, nine from the United States, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two each from China and Britain and one from Malaysia.

Reporting by Wayne Cole and Colin Packham; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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