Major volcano is New Zealand will ‘almost certainly’ blow in ‘catastrophic’ eruption | Science | News

Mount Taranaki is almost certain to follow the likes of volcanoes which have devastated Hawaii and Guatemala and cause major damage to New Zealand.

A civil defence plan for New Zealand’s north island, where the volcano is located, found that an eruption is “almost certain” within the next 50 years.

And it could signal bad news for New Zealand.

A study from Kiwi authorities read: “An eruption of Mount Taranaki could produce volcanic hazards such as tephra falls, pyroclastic density currents, lava flows, lahars, flooding, debris avalanches, sector collapses, lightning and volcanic gases.

“An eruption of Mount Taranaki is not a matter of ‘if’, it is a matter of ‘when’.”

Small to moderate eruptions have taken place on the 2,500 metre tall volcano every 500 years or so.

The last major eruption happened in 1655 and the study shows the chance of an eruption happening in any given year going forward has doubled from 1.6 percent to 3.1 percent.

When it does finally erupt, it would not only be the 450,000 tourists which annually visit the volcano who would be in danger.

The report says nearby towns and infrastructure are likely to be “severely effected” and would be in need of evacuations.

Civil Defence group manager Craig Campbell-Smart said that when it blows the eruption would be “catastrophic”.

He added that events in Guatemala and Hawaii have shown just how important it is to prepare for these types of events

Mr Campbell-Smart told Radio New Zealand: “We could be dealing with what’s called the pyroclastic density flow in the worst case and it’s something that we need to be able to prepare, forecast and respond to.”

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