More contact needed after eruption: locals
Wed, 08 Aug 2012 5:24a.m.
Residents living near Mt Tongariro in the central North Island say they were concerned by the lack of information from authorities after the volcano erupted on Monday night.
The volcano erupted about 11:50pm on Monday, spewing ash and prompting a threat warning for the central North Island.
Rocks fell within 1km of the eruption, damaging Ketetahi Hut - one of four trampers' huts on the mountain - but there have been no reports of injuries.
David Bennett, who lives 4km from the mountain, told the New Zealand Herald authorities failed to communicate directly with National Park locals.
"What really annoyed me this morning when I looked at the TV, there was all these departments making bold statements but none of them were on the ground last night."
Mr Bennett says locals set up checkpoints on State Highway 46 to ensure everyone was accounted for.
Taupo Police Area Commander Inspector Steve Bullock said he was satisfied procedures were followed, adding that police had liaised with local iwi.
"It was quickly established that the situation was very confined, there was no immediate risk to anyone outside of the park and no requirement for evacuation."
Scientists believe the small-scale eruption was driven by steam rather than molten rock, and say it came without warning.
A thin layer of ash covered areas surrounding the mountain and caused some flights to be delayed or cancelled in the central North Island, but the ash cloud had been blown offshore by Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday night only steam and gas was coming from a vent on the mountain and there were a number of minor earthquakes in the area.
GNS Science had downgraded its aviation alert from red to orange but Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro Northern Circuit and all four huts on the mountain remained closed.
Federated Farmers said they expected the ash to have minimal impact on farm pasture and stock drinking water as the ash had largely fallen in the National Park area.
Volcanologists were monitoring activity overnight.
Mt Tongariro last erupted from November 1896 until October 1897.
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8/08/2012 11:07:22 a.m.
Er....the earth is rumbling and ash is spewing into the air. Turn on the radio or TV and see what the situation is. If the local police have to knock on everyones door for updates are you first or last in the queue? Live in an area with a live volcano with a history of activity? Better check the back of the phone book for the emergency kit we all are supposed to have. It seems it is always up to someone else to do all the work while people sit on their butt and expect someone to be their personal servant.
8/08/2012 11:02:26 a.m.
I know little about volcano's but I am aware of the threatening occurrence of them if they happen.
A neighbour a Somoan told me that this one so near the lake would again occur.
Yes it is frightening and the thought that others could also even more so but we must be aware of such happenings.
So many earthquakes in that region and down and also the White Mountain, Bay of Plenty I would have thought the example there last week should have warned such scientist's of others.
Perhap's the Olympics came in between I don't know but sitting back and waiting for such happenings is just very neglectful.
Since the Maori people are so together when it comes to natural happenings I surprised they never took more notice earlier as the hot water substance,earthquakes etc must have had something to do with the eruption eventually.
8/08/2012 10:38:39 a.m.
So the police liased with iwi!. What about the other 90% of the local population.
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