Townsville woman confirmed safe after NZ eruption
A TOWNSVILLE woman is safe and well following the devastating volcanic eruption on White Island, New Zealand.
Karen Brechin, 62, was last night reported as missing on the New Zealand Red Cross website Restoring Family Links.
This morning her daughter, Tilly Singh, confirmed she was safe and was not on the Royal Carribbean cruise ship tour.
"She along with my stepfather Wayne Brechin are safe and OK. I was told she was on that ship but she was in fact on the ship behind them," Ms Singh said.
"I've just got off the phone to them and they are both well and safe."
Ms Singh said her mother did not know of the eruption until this morning.
Five people have been confirmed dead in the disaster, with eight others still missing and 31 in hospital.
Hayden Marshall-Inman, from Whakatane in the eastern Bay of Plenty Region, was the first confirmed casualty and was praised by former Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne as "a young energetic man, who has lost his life".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the White Island volcano eruption in New Zealand as a tragic event, revealing three of the five deceased could be Australian.
"Yesterday there were 24 Australians enjoying a wonderful cruise in New Zealand, taking in those sights together," Mr Morrison said this morning.
"Of the 24 Australians, 13 of those are hospitalised. There are 11 Australians that are still unaccounted for.
"I fear there is worse news to come, this is a terrible tragedy."
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was unlikely the eight missing people would be found alive.
Among the injured were New Zealanders and tourists from Australia, the United States, Britain, China and Malaysia.