Tongariro eruption threatens Bay

By Staff reporter

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Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group said it will continue to stay in contact with GNS Science to monitor volcanic activity in the region, however a national advisory from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management regarding Mount Tongariro's volcanic activity has been cancelled.

Tongariro Volcano erupted at 23:50hrs Monday 6 August 2012, light ashfall was recorded to the north and east of the volcano.

The latest assessment from GNS Science is that eruption activity has subsided. White steam clouds were observed at the historically active Te Maari craters area. There is no ash being produced from the volcano presently. There have been no lahars or pyroclastic flows or lava flows.

It is too early to predict the next series of events, but GNS Science expects heightened activity may continue for several weeks. There are likely to be specific signals of future magma movement beneath the volcano and GNS Science continues to monitor the situation through the GeoNet volcano-seismic network of instruments.

As with any volcano, an eruption could occur at Tongariro at any time with little or no warning and there is an elevated level of risk, particularly on the northern slopes and valleys of the mountain. The volcanic alert level for Tongariro volcano remains at alert level 2. 

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group  advise a continued precautionary approach towards activities in the vicinity of the Tongariro volcano, to stay clear of restricted areas and to check with Department of Conservation on status of roads and National Park access.

GNS Science is monitoring the volcano and providing scientific information.

The Department of Conservation is working with GNS Science and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts within the National Park and on the ski fields.

Police and other emergency services have been alerted and are available as required.

The regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups and the Ministry are continuing to monitor the situation to be able to marshal regional and national support should that be needed.

The Bay of Plenty CDEM Group has been in contact with the Waikato Regional and local Civil Defence Emergency Management and has offered its support if required.

 

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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