Lahar watch on Mt Tongariro
Sun, 12 Aug 2012 1:19p.m.
Volcanologists at Mt Tongariro are on alert for a lahar – a stream of ash and mud – after heavy rain pushed ash and mud onto the nearby highway.
Driving conditions around the mountain are difficult today, as heavy rain combines with ash from the eruption earlier this week.
Part of State Highway 46 between Turangi and National Park was closed for a time this morning because of debris on the road.
Head of volcanology at GNS science, Gill Jolly, says if the rain continues, there is the risk of more mud flows from a lahar.
“With the heavy rains, it’s not an unusual effect for that part of the world,” she says. “There may be a little bit of extra ash in it, but it’s certainly not unexpected for Tongariro.”
Taupo Civil Defence is warning drivers to not stop to look out at the mud but to continue driving.
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12/08/2012 3:31:29 p.m.
Not unexpected. We are just fortunate that there are now warning systems in place
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