White Island Volcano: Rabuka expresses sympathy to New Zealanders

Smoke from the volcanic eruption of Whakaari, also known as White Island, is pictured from a boat, New Zealand December 9, 2019 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video. INSTAGRAM @ALLESSANDROKAUFFMANN/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

OPPOSITION Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has expressed his sympathy and condolences to the government and people of New Zealand following the recent volcanic eruption on White Island.

According to overseas media reports, the death toll has risen to 14, while two people remain missing on the island and presumed dead.

The group visiting the island at the time includes some Australian and U.S. tourists.

“I express my condolences to Prime Minister Hon. Jacinda Ardern, and people of New Zealand, in particular, the victims’ families,” Mr Rabuka said in a statement.

“My thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. I also commend the courage and sacrifice of all those involved in the rescue and recovery operations during the disaster.”

Forty-seven people were on the island when the volcano erupted on Monday.

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