New Zealand volcano death toll rises to 21

Volcano at White Island erupted on Dec 9, coating tourists in burning ash. (Reuters pic)

WELLINGTON: The death toll from New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption climbed to 21 Wednesday, with a further death in hospital more than a month after the tragedy, police said.

Deputy police commissioner John Tims said the person died in hospital in Auckland, without releasing further details.

Nineteen of the victims had died in New Zealand and two in Australia.

The toll includes two people whose bodies have not been recovered but who were confirmed by a coroner last week to have been killed in the eruption.

There were 47 people, mainly Australian tourists, on the island when the volcano erupted on Dec 9 and many were coated in burning ash and steam.