Waikato Civil Defence to maintain close watch on Tongariro

7 August 2012, 02:15 PM

The Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group says it will maintain a close watch on the situation at Mt Tongariro in case its personnel and resources are needed if volcanic activity escalates.

Group staff from around the region have today been in discussion with agencies such as police and the district health board to share information and review the situation.

"At this stage we are in monitoring mode," said Group controller Scott Fowlds, who is based at the Group Emergency Management Office in Hamilton.

"The situation is calm at the moment but we are ready to ramp up our response if things escalate. We will maintain close liaison with Taupo Civil Defence, GNS, DOC, police, health and other agencies.

"We have experienced personnel and equipment around the region that can be deployed as the situation warrants.

"We urge the public to stay up to date with the latest information and take advice from the authorities when it comes to avoiding risks."

Mr Fowlds said current advice was to:

  • avoid unnecessary travel in affected areas if people want to avoid any eruption risk
  • take extreme care when cleaning up any ash because of the possibility of slips, trips and falls
  • if it can be done safely, disconnect pipes leading to home water supplies if there is a risk of ash being washed into tanks.

The eruption was also a reminder for people to keep their emergency preparations and kits up to date, Mr Fowlds said.

You can keep up to date with the latest information by visiting our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/WaikatoCivilDefence or checking out our website.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.