A newlywed couple from the U.S. have revealed how they survived the New Zealand volcano eruption.
Lauren and Matthew Urey revealed that while they suffered horrific burns, they were able to survive the explosion at Whakaari White Island by hiding behind a colossal rock.
SEE IT: Volcano erupts in White Island, New Zealand
Matthew’s mother Janet told 21 WFMJ of their terrifying encounter before boarding a flight to New Zealand.
“(Matthew) told me they had already come down from the volcano when it started to erupt.
“They were able to take some shelter behind a large rock, 10 minutes it could have meant life or death for them, but luckily they were already down the volcano close to the water, so they sheltered themselves a little bit.
“They already had been provided with respirators so they didn't breathe in all the ash.”
The explosion occured at Whakaari White Island
She continued: “I spoke with (Matthew) this morning. He'd just had surgery last night, about a three-hour surgery. The burns were a little worse than we had hoped, and he's going to need skin graphs and plastic surgery.
“He'll have a repeat surgery in 48 hours, but he was able to talk to me, he's taking fluids and eating a little jello, so stable for now.”
Newlyweds Lauren and Matthew Urey.
Locals gather to wave off the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship, which carried passengers who travelled to White Island when it erupted.
A total of 16 people are believed to have died in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty, including 14 Australian citizens.
Two more victims of the eruption died overnight, taking the death toll to eight, with eight others believed dead on the island.