Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

CD and DOC action reduces Ruapehu lahar risk

25 November 2002
Media Statement

Civil Defence and DOC action reduces Ruapehu lahar risk


Action already undertaken by Civil Defence and the Department of Conservation have reduced the risk to life if Ruapehu’s Crater Lake produced a lahar (mudslide), a report released today shows.

‘The Ruapehu Lahar Residual Risk Assessment Report’, commissioned by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, showed the risk to life in the most extreme lahar event ranged from 1 per cent to a high of 10 per cent, following precautionary measures undertaken by the two departments.

Without such measures, the risk to life could be up to 40 percent, the report stated.

More than 60 lahars (mudflows) have been recorded at Mt Ruapehu since the 1860s. Another is expected after a makeshift dam around the rim of the Crater Lake, made up of up to 7.5 metres of debris and sandy ash deposited at the rim after the mountain erupted during 1995 and 1996, collapses.

Scientists predict the dam will fail sometime between late winter 2003 and the summer of 2005/06. Under the most extreme scenario, once water in the Lake reached the rim, the dam could give way and release approximately 1.5 million cubic metres of water and ash down the mountain.

“We’ve taken the approach that it’s best to plan for a worst-case scenario, however unlikely, because where human safety is concerned we’d rather take too many precautions than too few,” Mr Hawkins said.

“A lot of work has been put into being prepared for the lahar,” said Mr Carter.

“An embankment has been built at the base of the mountain to prevent a large lahar from spilling into the Lake Taupo catchment, and an early warning system, known as ERLAWS, is in place to provide as much advance notification of the lahar as possible,” he said.

Other precautionary measures included automated warnings that would broadcast through police communication centres to close off vulnerable places on the road and rail networks, simultaneous triggering of warning signals on the Desert Road and barrier arms at the Tangiwai road bridge.

Several issues remained around the extent of the potential lahar.

The report could not predict the potential size of any lahar and risks associated with an extreme level event could not be discounted. Consequently, ways to further reduce the risk, including the feasibility of managing the timing and nature of the lahar, were being investigated.

On the other hand, it was also possible a less dramatic lahar could occur, with some evidence that the dam was more permeable than previously thought and water could leak away. This possibility was also being considered by an independent science advisory panel.

No private homes stood in the lahar’s expected route and risks were mainly to structures such as roads and bridges. Civil Defence was working with local authorities, asset owners and emergency services on developing appropriate response plans.

The report’s findings would be reviewed to ensure the government was acting on the best information, the Ministers said.

Mt Ruapehu is in a National Park and has World Heritage status.

ENDS

Note: full report available on www.civildefence.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages