New Zealand Bowed with Third National Tragedy of 2019; Final Two Tourists Remain Missing

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

New Zealand is facing its third national tragedy of 2019  thrusting the  nation into the global spotlight with the volcanic eruption of White Island and the confirmed deaths of 18 tourists who were touring the active site.

The White Island eruption is New Zealand’s second violent natural disaster and third national tragedy of 2019. Beginning with the January Christchurch Earthquake, which initiated a mass exodus from the city with more than 20,000 people leaving the earthquake prone center, New Zealanders who had not experienced a mass shooting felt the universal powerless exasperation as hate walked into a local Mosque on March 15, murdering 51, and now the White Island Volcano eruption.


Beltway Insider: Trump/Impeachment, UK Tory Win, NZ Volcano, Greta Thunburg/Bob Iger, Danny Aiello


It has been ten days since the volcano erupted, scooping out an entire side of the island as 47 tourists were sightseeing. The scorching, violent, explosion killed 18 and left 24 severely burned and five others suffered less critical physical injuries.

The last two bodies Australian Winona Langford, 17, and New Zealand tour guide, Hayden Marshall-Inman, 40, have yet to be recovered. Authorities have stated the two may have been entombed, such as those from the ancient city of Pompeii, or washed out to sea. Either way, the two were the last know victims.

Tour operators who were ferrying tourists' groups to the island gave estimates that 47 people from several nations were on the island at the time of the explosion; 24 Australian, nine Americans, five New Zealanders and others from Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.

Thirty-six victims were passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Ovation of the Seas. A crew member was also reported as missing. In the five days since the eruption, recovery teams have been searching the waters near the island for victims.

The Eruption, Aftermath and Fatalities

Extensive video's made public by tourists from the first tour group that has just departed White Island minutes before the tragedy and were back on the tour boat when the volcano, which was steaming during their accent, erupted showing plumes of smoke and scalding ash spewing more than 12,000 feet into the air.


BREAKING: News Reports at Least 27 Dead in Two New Zealand Mosque Shootings


The thick shroud of scalding ash was falling as a group of tourists were reaching its summit, and a second group of tourists were waiting to be picked up at the water's edge having completed their day sightseeing trip.

According to New Zealand National Operation Commander and Deputy Commissioner John Tims stated, "There are currently 30 patients in six hospitals around New Zealand, Middlemore, Hutt Valley, Auckland City, Tauranga, Waikato and Christchurch. Twenty-five patients are critical with the remainder stable but serious [condition]."

Skin Ordered from U.S. To Meet Demand of Burn Victims

The severity of the burns has resulted in a global order of more than 1,300 feet of skin to be used for skin graft for the victims. The skin is provided by organ donors who designate skin for transplant upon death. The skin is usually removed from the deceased's back and backs of the legs. Donors must register "any needed organ" or specific organ donations and stipulate skin before it can be removed.

Dr. Peter Watson, chief medical officer of Counties Manukau Health, said at a press conference Wednesday that there are 29 patients being treated in intensive care and burn units at four different hospitals throughout New Zealand. Twenty-four of the burn patients remain in critical condition.

"'We currently have stock but are urgently sourcing additional supplies to meet the demand for dressing and temporary skin grafts. We anticipate we will require an additional 1.2 million sq cms of skin for the on-going needs of the patients. These supplies are coming from the United States and the order has been placed," Watson said.


UPDATE: Dozens Killed in Coordinated Terrorist Attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand


He added, "The nature of these burns is complicated by the gases and chemicals in the eruption. This has necessitated more rapid surgical treatment of these burns than is the usual case for thermal only burns. As such surgical teams have been working around the clock, non-stop, to expedite the initial surgical treatment of the patients. This is just the start of a very long process that for some patients will last several months."

Returning Home

The Australian Military of Defense was called into action transporting the thirteen Australians who had been hospitalized in New Zealand, eleven of which were critically injured, back to their homeland.

"Some 47 people, including 24 Australian citizens and four permanent residents, were on the island when the volcano erupted on Monday. Ten Australians are now confirmed dead, two are presumed to have died and 12 are still being treated in hospitals after being repatriated with severe burns," reported The Guardian.

Several of the rescued and initial survivors have succumbed to their injuries including three Australian's, Krystal Eve Browitt, 21, Matthew, 13, and Berend Hollander, 16, who were on the island with their parents Martina and Barbara who are presumed dead.

Dr Watson, who has explained the trauma has taken a toll on his staff as well. The "severely critical patients, many of whom are in surgery every second day." The medical community has responded as "new surgeons are arriving - we're in a very fortunate position to have overseas burns specialists approaching us and offering their support and the first one has arrived and is going to be joining our teams tomorrow which is going to give much needed relief to our teams," he said.


Rising from The Ashes of War to the Murky Top – Ukraine’s Politics of Plunder


The road to recovery for the remaining eleven patients is long and arduous. It will be months before they will be stable enough to move and complete the journey and recovery in their homelands. The recovery process as the victims are severely injured with burns covering nearly 80% of their bodies is lengthy.

 

 

Sources: Various, Images courtesy of Pixabay, no attribution necessary.

Haute Tease

  • Earwig and The Witch Review - Entertaining, Magical, Charming

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Earwig and The Witch, from Studio Ghibli, presents the story of a young girl, abandoned, and raised in an orphanage until one day, against her wishes she is selected for adoption and suddenly begins a new life.

     
  • Business/Finance: Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette Speaks with CNBC’s "Squawk on the Street" (Exclusive)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" team met up with MACY's CEO Jeffrey Gennette, on Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping on what is widely considered a make or break shopping season for many retailers.

     

     
  • Auto, Yachts, Jets: Tips for Restoring a Luxury Car

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    People have sought luxury vehicles for years. Dealerships and car lots have a wide range of high-end vehicles available. But for better prospects and gaining knowledge, restoring a luxury car is a more pleasurable experience.

     
  • Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden To Star in "Citadel," From The Russo Brothers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amazon Studios announced Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Quantico) and Richard Madden (Bodyguard) will star in Citadel, the new multi-layered global series from the Russo Brothers' AGBO, with multiple language franchises, Madden and Chopra will star in the U.S. version.

     
  • 4 Cool Summer Tools That Make Entertaining a Breeze

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With summer just around the corner, temperatures are heating up and it’s time to think about some ways to get the most out of the season, including cool tools that make summer barbecues, soirees, and family time sizzle.

     
  • Indiana Police Intensifies Search in Delphi Double Homicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In a recent press conference Indiana State Police, released a new sketch of a key person of interest they believe may be responsible for the murders of Libby German and Abby Williams on February 13, 2017.