Volcanic Activity Mount Tongariro
Location: Mount Tongariro
District: National Alerts
Short description: Volcanic Activity
Just prior to midnight last night the Police Central Communications Centre received a call from a member of the public who reported seeing an eruption on the northern face of Mount Tongariro from his location on SH 46 near Lake Rotoaira West of Rangipo. He described seeing flame like explosions and a cloud of ash coming from 'a new hole in the side of the Mountain.'
No reports of injuries or damage has been received to date but a joint agency incident management centre has been established at the Whakapapa Department of Conservation Visitor Centre. GNS Science are monitoring the seismic activity on the Mountain and DOC and Police staff are preparing to check nearby tramping huts at first light. No further volcanic activity on the Mountain has been reported since that initial call to Police.
Light ash has been reported falling on SH's 1, and 46 and as far East as SH5 near Te Haroto and onto Napier City itself. Due to possible danger to the public Police have closed SH1 between Rangipo and Waiouru (Desert Road) and SH46 West of Rangipo. SH47 and 4 remain open at his stage as does SH5. Motorists are being advised to avoid travel in the area and these closures will be re-assessed once daylight reveals the extent of the ash cloud and other related safety risks have been assessed.