• Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:12 pm

Heartbreak, disbelief as volcano victims named

  • Published at 11:57 pm December 11th, 2019
volcano eruption in New Zealand
Bouquets of flowers and notes are placed on the waterfront near White Island Tours base in Bay of Plenty, on December 10, 2019 in memory of those who lost their lives during the volcano eruption in New Zealand AFP

Seven of the nine people so far identified and named as missing by New Zealand police are from Australia

The families and friends of Australian victims of the White Island volcano tragedy paid tribute to "wonderful" lost loved ones on Wednesday and expressed doubt they were made aware of the risks of visiting the island.

Seven of the nine people so far identified and named as missing by New Zealand police are from Australia.

An eighth Australian victim who died in hospital was named by authorities there late Wednesday.

That number is expected to rise.

Many more of the victims are expected to have been day-trippers from a cruise ship that left from Sydney.

As the human toll from Monday's eruption came into sharper focus, the families of four of those Australian victims - who are presumed dead - spoke out.

"Gavin was a wonderful son and brother," father Brian Dallow told media, saying it would have a "big impact" on the family, especially at Christmastime. "We're really going to miss him." 

"We'll miss him at the cricket - I will, at least, and we'll miss him at the football."

"He was a generous man, always helping his family and his community."

Gavin Dallow was believed killed along with his 15-year-old stepdaughter Zoe Hosking.

"Our hearts break at the loss of Zoe at such a young age. We know her loss will also devastate her school community and the local Girl Guides of which she was an active member," her step grandfather said.

Her mother, Lisa Hosking, is among those being treated for severe burns.

Brian Dallow said he did not believe his son would have visited the island if he was aware of the risk.

"I think if he knew there was a danger, he would haven't gone on it. So I'm pretty sure they weren't fully informed of the dangers, otherwise he would haven't gone. I'm quite sure of that. That's the only thing I can be really positive about."

Brisbane woman Julie Richards and her 20-year-old daughter Jessica were also presumed dead.