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No confirmation regarding Malaysian in NZ volcanic eruption: High Commission

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 12): The Malaysian High Commission in Wellington is still waiting for confirmation from the New Zealand police on reports of a Malaysian citizen who was feared dead in the volcanic eruption at White Island on Dec 9.

A spokesperson from the High Commission said as of today (Thursday), there have been no confirmed details as yet, nor have the High Commission received queries from any Malaysian national checking on family members or friends that may have been affected by the deadly incident.

“So far nobody has come forward to us to report on any missing person. But we are working closely with the New Zealand authorities on this incident.

“We hope to get some official details and a statement from the police very soon, probably tonight or tomorrow morning,” he said when contacted by Bernama, here, on Thursday.

Reuters on Thursday said eight people were killed by the eruption so far and eight others were still missing or presumed dead, believed to have been buried under ashes and debris, while 20 victims are currently being warded in intensive care units across hospitals in New Zealand for severe burns.

New Zealand police said there were 47 people on the island at the time of the eruption. Twenty-four of them 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.

On Tuesday, Wisma Putra confirmed that a Malaysian was critically injured in the 2.11pm incident and was currently hospitalised in Christchurch Hospital.

The spokesperson at the Malaysian High Commission said strict privacy laws in New Zealand prevent authorities from releasing details of victims unless their next of kin have been contacted.

It also urged affected Malaysians or those who were at the scene to contact the High Commission in Wellington at +64-4385 2439; +64-4801 5659 or +64-210440188 (after office hours) or email [email protected]

The High Commission is located at 10 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, P.O. Box 9422, Wellington 6021 New Zealand.

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