New Zealand volcano eruption: Australian mother and daughter named as victims

Brisbane woman Julie Richards and her daughter Jessica have been confirmed dead after Monday's explosion at White Island. PHOTO: JULIE RICHARDS/FACEBOOK

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - A mother and daughter have become the first Australians to be named as victims of New Zealand's volcano disaster after the family was informed by the authorities early on Wednesday (Dec 11), media said.

Brisbane woman Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, have been confirmed dead after Monday's eruption at White Island, family friend John Mickel said on the Sky News programme.

The two left for New Zealand on Dec 2 and were due home this weekend.

The death toll stands at six, with eight others presumed dead on the island, which is still too dangerous for rescuers to visit.

There were 47 people on White Island at the time of the eruption.

Twenty-four of those were from Australia, nine from the United States, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two each from China and Britain and one from Malaysia.

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