National Park unshaken by seismic activity

By Anne-Marie Emerson of the Wanganui Chronicle -
Tongariro National Park. Photo / File
Tongariro National Park. Photo / File

National Park-based businesses say they have been unaffected by the recent rise in seismic activity at Mt Tongariro.

GNS Science last week increased Tongariro's alert level from 0 to 1, out of a possible 6, after a series of small earthquakes under the mountain. Level 1 means the mountain is showing signs of unrest.

Volcanologist Brad Scott said on average two quakes per year occurred at Tongariro but in the past week more than 20 had been recorded. The quakes were small in magnitude, at less than 2.5, and centred between the Emerald Lakes and Te Maari craters.

Mr Scott said the quakes could be a sign that an eruption may happen in future.

Several tourism operators in National Park told the Chronicle they were not concerned by the increased alert, and it had not affected business.

Plateau Lodge & Shuttles runs shuttles and guides for the Tongariro Crossing. Owner Andrea Tyler said most people didn't seem to be aware of the increased alert. "It's business as usual for us. Alerts come and go all the time - it doesn't really mean anything."

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