Bodies from other fatal incidents are being sent to Waikato as health authorities try to keep the Auckland mortuary free for those coming from the devastating Whakaari/White Island eruption.

Police have announced they plan to recover the eight bodies remaining on Whakaari on Friday morning, despite an increasingly high likelihood of another volcanic eruption.

A Coronial Services spokesperson said the Auckland mortuary had been prepared to receive all deaths relating to White Island.

All post mortems would be carried out in Auckland, he said.


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"Some deaths unrelated to the Whakaari/White Island tragedy have been transferred to other mortuaries, namely Waikato.

"This is in line with the Mass Fatality Incident contingency plan."

Six of the eight bodies that are still unrecovered lie on the island and are visible from the air.

One has been seen in the water and the location of the eighth is not known, according to police specialists who spoke to commercial operators in Whakatāne this morning.