Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Volcanic activity monitored at White Island

Volcanic activity monitored at White Island

26 January 2013 10am                      

Release No: 1
 
Scientists and Bay of Plenty Civil Defence staff are keeping a watch on White Island off the region’s coast this weekend as seismic activity increases.
 
GNS scientists noticed that late this week the type of seismic activity at White Island had changed. While the level of volcanic tremor began to decrease, ‘hybrid volcanic earthquakes’ had appeared. Hybrid earthquakes are typically associated with movement of molten material (magma) within an active volcano.
 
GNS scientists took a gas flight over the volcano yesterday which showed a level of gas emitted was similar to last month. Mud geysering is continuing in the crater lake and earthquake activity remains above background levels.
 
Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Warwick Murray said the current episode of activity started in August 2012 with explosions and ash emission, and in November a small lava dome appeared.
 
“Volcanic unrest has been increasing since about January 14. Increased hydrothermal activity in the ‘hot lake’ has been described as some of the most vigorous seen for many years,” he said.
 
Mr Murray said future eruptions were possible with little or no warning, meaning an increased hazard to visitors to the island.
 
“Hazards can include the health effects of volcanic gas exposure, respiratory issues, skin and eye sensitivity to acid gases. Explosive eruptions can occur at any time with little or no warning. A high level of caution should be taken if you are visiting White Island.”
 
“Scientists are not sure what could happen next. Magma could flow underground with no changes in surface activity, there could be more dome building as in November or explosive eruptions and ash emissions, as in August last year,” he said.
 
“There is little risk to the mainland from this seismic activity, but we understand that people are concerned. Visitors to White Island should ensure that they informed, and must exercise high level of caution. If you are boating near the island throughout the long weekend, monitor marine channels for updates and exercise caution,” Mr Murray said.
 
Meanwhile, the Volcanic Alert Level for White Island remains at 1, indicating signs of volcanic unrest. The alert level ranges from 0 to 5. Because of the change in activity and increased level of unrest, the Aviation Colour Code has been lifted from yellow to orange. Aviation Colour Codes have four colours – green, yellow, orange, red as a quick reference for planes flying in the area.
 
GNS Science will continue to closely monitor White Island.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Presser: ‘Precarious’ Solid Energy In Banks’ Hands

Liquidation of state-owned coal company Solid Energy “cannot be ruled out” but is “not the number one preferred option of the government,” says Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed the beleaguered company was discussed today at Cabinet as its banking syndicate grapples with its commercially dire prospects. More>>

ALSO:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news