SINGAPORE: The Malaysian victim who was reported to have died in the New Zealand volcano eruption is alive but in a critical condition, Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Thursday (Dec 12).
The Malaysian High Commission in Wellington had posted on Facebook on Tuesday saying it was informed by local officials that a Malaysian had died in the eruption on White Island.
But a foreign ministry official told AFP late Thursday that the victim had in fact survived. The victim, an Australian permanent resident, was the only Malaysian involved in the disaster.
The ministry said in its statement on Thursday that the victim was in a critical condition and is scheduled to be moved to Sydney for further treatment.
"Arrangements to transfer the victim will depend on Christchurch Hospital's assessment on the victim's condition," the statement read.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to thank the New Zealand government and local authorities for their assistance to the victims involved in the disaster."
Earlier on Thursday, a spokesperson from the Malaysia High Commission in Wellington said it was still awaiting the victim's latest status.
“So far nobody has come forward to us to report any missing person. But we are working closely with the New Zealand authorities on this incident," he added.
Police in New Zealand are planning a mission on Friday to retrieve bodies of people killed in Monday's eruption.
Australian authorities put the death toll at eight, with eight more missing or presumed dead. More than 20 people are warded in intensive care units across hospitals in New Zealand.