Ruapehu crater lake temps 'stubbornly high'

Crater lake temperatures and gas on Mt Ruapehu remain stubbornly high, nine months after its last eruption, GNS Science says.

"That doesn't mean an eruption is likely, but the current unrest is unusual," GNS Science volcano surveillance coordinator Brad Scott said today.

Crater lake temperatures and gas levels usually follow a predictable pattern of returning to normal after eruptions, he said.

Horizons Regional Council emergency manager Shane Bayley called a meeting of emergency management agencies last week for a briefing by GNS Science and to brush up on Mt Ruapehu eruption response plans.

"We identified ways to improve communications between agencies including councils, GNS Science, Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, Civil Defence Emergency Management groups, Department of Conservation and police," Mr Bayley said.

"While no predictions can be made about what might happen in the future, based on the unusual levels of unrest on the mountain, it makes good sense to be fully prepared."

He said police would lead the response on the mountain to any eruption and Ruapehu operators had worked with police and DOC to ensure appropriate reactions.

"We would like to reassure the public that the situation on Ruapehu is being watched closely by the Central Plateau Volcanic Advisory Group," said Mr Bayley.

- NZPA

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