Eruption en Nouvelle-Zélande: les deux derniers corps n'ont pas été retrouvés

15 Décembre, 2019, 10:47 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Les équipes de sauvetage sur l'île de White Island

Les restes de six des personnes décédées ont été récupérés vendredi lors d'une opération risquée menée par des soldats d'élite néo-zélandais.

Deux hélicoptères militaires avaient décollé de la ville de Whakatane aux premières lueurs de l'aube pour White Island, où l'éruption de lundi dernier aurait tué au moins 16 personnes en visite touristique, selon un bilan provisoire.

"Après plus de cinq heures d'attente, la police a annoncé que la majorité des corps avaient été rapatriés et transportés sur une frégate militaire ancrée au large". "Nous comprenons totalement à quel point cela peut également être décevant pour les proches qui voudraient récupérer les corps", a déclaré le commissaire de police adjoint Mike Clement après le retour de cette équipe, qui comptait huit policiers.

La veille de l'opération, les forces de l'ordre ont indiqué qu'elles chercheraient également les restes des deux autres personnes disparues, mais qu'elles auraient toutefois peu de temps dans un environnement aussi dangereux.

Il a ajouté que les deux corps étaient probablement dans l'eau, mais les plongeurs sont " convaincus qu'ils ne se trouvent pas dans la zone de recherche autour de la jetée ". Des vols de drones ont aidé à localiser les corps de six personnes avant le début de l'opération.

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Le milieu de terrain parisien a pu montrer ses qualités et justifié la confiance mise en lui par son entraîneur. L'entraîneur allemand a fait savoir que la formation parisienne devra se passer des services de six joueurs.

Alors que l'opération commençait, la police a emmené les familles en deuil près de l'île sur un bateau et une bénédiction maorie a été organisée.

Des volcanologues ont suivi en direct les relevés d'activité sismique du volcan toujours fumant, pendant que l'équipe récupérait les corps.

Des scientifiques qui observent White Island ont déclaré samedi que la possibilité d'une éruption au cours de cette fin de semaine avait diminué mais que le risque demeurait.

La première ministre néo-zélandaise Jacinda Ardern a appelé à observer une minute de silence lundi en hommage aux victimes. "C'est une période de désespoir et de détresse absolue". Le corps d'un guide néo-zélandais, Hayden Marshall-Inman, figurerait parmi les huit corps qui étaient demeurés sur l'île. "Cela va nous permettre de pleurer et de dire adieu à nos proches comme ils le méritent", a-t-il déclaré au New Zealand Herald.

Des gaz toxiques s'échappent toujours du cratère et l'île est couverte d'une épaisse couche de cendres volcaniques. Au total, 47 touristes et guides, venus d'Australie, des Etats-Unis, du Royaume-Uni, de Chine, d'Allemagne, de Malaisie et de Nouvelle-Zélande, se trouvaient sur l'île au moment de l'éruption.

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