Selasa, 08 Desember 2020

Families remember the 22 people killed in New Zealand's Whakaari-White Island volcano eruption one year later - ABC News

For the families around the world impacted by the New Zealand volcano tragedy, December 9 is a date that comes with heaviness.

Out of the 47 tourists who were on Whakaari-White Island when it erupted at 2:11pm on that terrible day, 22 would lose their lives.

The victims include 17 Australian tourists, three international travellers and two local guides.

Some died on the island, others in the days and weeks that followed.

Meredith Dallow lost her brother Gavin and niece Zoe in the volcanic explosion while her sister-in-law Lisa survived with serious injuries.

She said the month of December has been especially hard on her family.

"Last week and this week are probably the two worst weeks," she said.

White Island volcano victims Gavin Dallow and Zoe Hosking.
Gavin Dallow and Zoe Hosking died in the volcano disaster, while Lisa Dallow (not pictured), survived with serious injuries.(Supplied)

"Last Thursday marks 12 months to the day since we spent some time with Gavin and saw him for the last time and then of course Friday was the 12-month anniversary that the ship set sail.

"So they were pretty hard days, remembering the last time we saw Gavin.

"We're conscious that there are other families doing it tough just like us and have probably had their struggles during the year.

"Emotions run high at times — you have your good days and your bad days."

Meredith said her sister-in-law Lisa was improving but "takes it day by day".

Smoke is seen rising from a volcanic island
Whakaari-White Island erupted at 2:11pm on December 9, 2019.(AP: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust)

Memorial in Whakatane to be live streamed around the world

Many survivors like Lisa have spent the last year rehabilitating after suffering injuries and serious burns.

Families will today stop to remember the lives changed forever, as a memorial in the New Zealand town of Whakatane is live streamed to Australia and around the world.

Meredith said today was about remembering her brother and niece for the vibrant people they were.

"I guess that's something I've thought about this year — getting out and doing things. You don't know what tomorrow's going to bring."

In the United States and India the family of Mayuri (Mary) Singh and Pratap (Paul) Singh will also be watching online.

A woman stands behind a man and puts her hand on his shoulders as they both smile at the camera for a selfie on a terrace.
Mayuri and Pratap Singh decided to go on a trip to the volcano while on holiday with their son and twin daughters.(Supplied)

The couple, who lived in Atlanta, were on a holiday across Australia and New Zealand with their son and twin daughters, who stayed on board the cruise ship as they went on the trip to the volcano.

Mayuri died in hospital 13 days later while her husband died about five weeks after that.

'We are praying for better days ahead'

Their nephew Vick Singh, who lived with the couple when he moved to the United States, said the extended family was still coming to grips with their loss.

"They meant the whole world to us," he said.

"We embrace and cherish memories of my uncle and aunt — they still represent the indomitable spirit of our family.

"There are many days and several times throughout the day, we think of them and we often go back to pictures from anniversaries and birthdays.

Vick Singh sits, right, in a car next to his uncle, left, who has his arm around him. It appears to be a film photo.
Vick Singh (right) says his family is still coming to terms with the loss of his uncle Pratap (left) and his aunt Mayuri.(Supplied)

"We miss them a lot and gather inspiration from the courage and bravery they signified.

"We just want to support each other as a family and look forward as we are praying for better days ahead."

Last week, WorkSafe New Zealand filed charges against 10 parties and three individuals over the tragedy.

The first of the matters is expected to go before the Auckland District Court next week.

Vick Sing said he hoped his family would eventually be provided answers.

"Obviously this has happened, we cannot go into the past and change anything," he said.

"However … I felt they did not get a measure of the risks associated or if they were well-informed.

"If such an investigation helps prevent tragedies like this … not just in New Zealand but across the world, it should be closely assessed and corrective actions should be implemented immediately.

"We pray for peace for the families who lost their loved ones like ours."

Whakatane District Mayor Judy Turner said the events of December 9 changed the once-bustling tourist region forever but every effort is being made to bring peace to those who have suffered.

"The days, weeks and months following the eruption have had a significant effect on our local communities including our business community and in particular those involved in the tourist industry and of course that is compounded by COVID-19," she said.

"As a community, we will move forward but we will never forget."

The names of the victims

  • Krystal Browitt
  • Paul Browitt
  • Tipene Maangi
  • Hayden Marshall-Inman
  • Winona Langford
  • Anthony Langford
  • Kristine Langford
  • Julia Richards
  • Jessica Richards
  • Zoe Hosking
  • Gavin Dallow
  • Matthew Hollander
  • Berend Hollander
  • Barbara Hollander
  • Martin Hollander
  • Jason Griffiths
  • Karla Mathews
  • Richard Elzer
  • Christopher Cozad
  • Mayuri (Mary) Singh
  • Pratap (Paul) Singh
  • Horst Westenfelder
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Play Video. Duration: 34 seconds
Eyewitness video shows tourists being evacuated from White Island after the devastating explosion.

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2020-12-08 19:03:00Z

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