New Zealand observes silence 1 week after volcano killed 18


This photo released by the New Zealand Defence Force shows an operation to recover bodies from White Island after a volcanic eruption in Whakatane, New Zealand, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. A team of eight New Zealand military specialists landed on White Island early Friday to retrieve the bodies of victims after the Dec. 9 eruption. (New Zealand Defence Force via AP)

NEW ZEALAND (AP) – New Zealanders have observed a minute’s silence at the moment that a volcano erupted a week earlier, killing 18 people.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led the call for the moment of reflection at 2:11 p.m. Monday, saying that wherever people were in New Zealand or around the world, it was an opportunity to stand alongside those who had lost loved ones in the tragedy. She said it was a chance to express sorrow for those who died and were hurt, and to show support for their grieving families and friends.

Two bodies have yet to be recovered from the White Island eruption site.

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