Statement from U.S. Embassy in New Zealand

“The Department of State understands from the New Zealand Police that nine US citizens were among the 47 people on Whakaari/White Island when it erupted on December 9.

Identification of the victims of this natural disaster is ongoing. Many of those currently being well-cared for in New Zealand hospitals sustained severe injuries. The extent and nature of these injuries make identification a complex matter.

The US Embassy in Wellington, the US Consulate in Auckland and the Department of State will continue to work day and night, with our New Zealand counterparts, to provide all appropriate consular assistance to those who were on the island and their families.

We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those lost. At this time, out of consideration for those involved, as well as privacy considerations, we cannot provide any specific information on US citizens affected by the eruption.  Our thoughts are with our Kiwi neighbors and our friends in Australia, the UK, Germany, Malaysia, and China who have also been heartbroken by this tragedy.” – U.S. Ambassador Brown.”

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