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Be prepared if Mount Tongariro Erupts

13 August 2012, 1.30pm

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management | Media Release

Be prepared if Mount Tongariro Erupts

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group is advising people in the region to be prepared for possible further eruptions and ash fall from Mount Tongariro.

Agencies including Police, Fire, Ambulance, District Health Board, Unison and Civil Defence met on Friday and have agreed to a plan should the current state on Mount Tongariro escalate.

GNS has advised more eruptions are possible, but the impact on Hawke’s Bay is likely to be ash fall to a depth of 2-3 millimetres. While this sounds minimal, any amount of ash fall can have an impact, as volcanic ash is toxic.

HBCDEM Group Manager Ian Macdonald says ash fall can aggravate respiratory conditions, getting into the eyes and mouth. It can create discomfort for pets and be poisonous to stock. Volcanic ash is also abrasive and can affect outdoor mechanical and electronic equipment.

“We encourage people to consider how ash fall might affect them and take action now so that they are prepared,” says Ian Macdonald.

Advice on how to prepare for volcanic ash fall can be found at the Hawke’s Bay CDEM website – www.hbemergency.govt.nz.

Farmers and horticulturalists should be familiar with information on the Ministry for Primary Industries website http://www.mpi.govt.nz, MPI’s Adverse Event Volcanic Impact document, and consider how ash fall could impact their operations.

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