TODAY |

Sydney brothers, 13 and 16, named among those killed in White Island disaster

Two teenage brothers from Sydney have been named as victims of the Whakaari/White Island disaster.

Berend and Matthew Hollander. Source: Supplied

Matthew Hollander, 13, and Berend (known as Ben) Hollander, 16, died in hospital, their school - Knox Grammar School in Sydney - confirmed. The boys were in Year 8 and Year 10 respectively.

In a letter sent to parents, and viewed by 1 NEWS, Headmaster Scott James reflected on the "devastating loss for our community".

"Matthew was a vibrant member of the Class of 2023. He was involved in Cadets and represented the School in Basketball, Squash and Debating. He was elected as a Mentor Representative in 2018/19," Mr James said.

"Matthew had a close circle of friends and was popular amongst his peers. He was always enthusiastic about life and was actively involved in school and year group activities.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The confirmed death toll from the eruption is now six, after a person died in hospital overnight. But eight others are presumed dead on the island. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr James also said Ben was active in several sports and activities at the school, including developing a passion for AFL, Cadets, CRU and especially Baseball.

"He had a great love for the outdoors and camp. Ben was a compassionate and enthusiastic student, with an interest in software design," he said.

"Ben’s engaging smile and quirky sense of humour made him a good mate to his close group of friends and a welcome member to every classroom."

The boys' parents, Martin and Barbara Hollander, are still unaccounted for.

"Please keep the family, their relatives and the rest of Knox community in your prayers and thoughts," Mr James said. "Please do everything you can to support the boys and each other at this difficult time for our community."

On Monday, 47 people from two groups went to the volcano - a tourist hotspot off the coast of Whakatāne. At 2.11pm there were two explosions on the island.

After confirmation of two further deaths this morning, the official death toll is at eight. There are a further eight unaccounted for, presumed dead, on the island.

There are 28 victims in various hospitals around New Zealand, with authorities yesterday saying some would be transferred home to Australia for treatment. The remaining three have been discharged from hospitals.

New Zealand has requested 1.2 million square centimetres of skin from the US to treat severe burns of those injured.