Smoke volcano on White Island. Nearly a year after a devastating volcanic eruption, New Zealand is memorializing the dead. Photo: Michael Shady / Shenhua / DPA (Michael Shady / DPA)
In memory of a devastating volcanic eruption in New Zealand that killed 22 people, the country remembered the victims at a memorial service. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke on Wednesday of a “very difficult event”.
She thanked all those who put themselves in danger to help the people of White Island. The effects of the outbreak are felt here in Germany, as well as abroad. Most of the islanders on that day were visitors. “
Wakari volcano erupted on December 9, 2019 when 47 tourists were on the small island off North Island of New Zealand. They included four Germans and visitors from Australia, China, Malaysia, the United States and Great Britain. In November, he learned that in July a German tourist had died of his serious wounds. 25 people were injured in the blast.
The anniversary was broadcast live on TV. Because of the Corona pandemic, it initially had to happen on a small scale. Relatives of victims and survivors sent video messages.
The Mountain of Fire has been increasingly active for some time, but the boats carrying tourists have gone there again and again. Only trained guides were allowed to enter the island.
Just a few days ago, the local Occupational Health and Safety Authority filed charges against ten tour operators and three people. An investigation found that tour operators to White Island had failed to comply with statutory safety obligations.
New Zealand is located on the so-called most active geological region on Earth. This was the first fatal explosion of a 320-meter-high fire mountain since 1914. At that time, ten miners were killed.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201209-99-623928 / 3 (dpa)