Date: 22 November 2012
Te Maari Crater eruption on Mt Tongariro, 21 November 2012
A small amount of ash and gas erupted from the Te Maari Crater on Mount Tongariro, at 1:30 pm Wednesday 21 November 2012. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing was closed and police and DOC staff assisted the public at the Ketetahi and Mangatepopo Road ends.
The Mangatepopo and Oturere huts are closed from 22 November 2012 until further notice. Waihohonu Hut remains open as does the Tama Lakes Track from Whakapapa Village to Waihohonu and the Desert Road.
The ash ejected 2 km above the vent, and was blown in a very light wind in a north – north east direction towards the Kaimanawa Ranges. Volcanic hazards to people on the ground were contained within a 200 metre radius of the vent. No further eruptions have followed. GNS Science have raised the volcanic alert level to 2.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is closed until further notice. The track will be re-opened or partially re-opened following advice from GNS with the first review being made in three days time, 24 November 2012.
There were approximately 50 people who were in the vicinity at the time of the eruption and there were no injuries. There is no threat to life. The people made their way down the mountain quickly but calmly. There was a school group of 50 on the mountain at the time and they are all accounted for.
Te Maari Crater first erupted on the 6 August 2012. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing was re-opened in stages as GNS monitoring and advice showed that risks to people decreased.
The full Tongariro Alpine Crossing was re-opened for Labour weekend, 19 October 2012. A 1 km hazard zone and Ngati Tuwharetoa Rähui from the crater is still in place and volcanic hazard flyers were distributed at all entrances to the track.
Programme Manager Community Relations
Department of Conservation Taupō-nui-ā-tia
Phone: +64 7 384 7163