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Ruapehu volcano (North Island, New Zealand) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 19 September-25 September 2007 (New Activity / Unrest)

Wed, 19 Sep 2007, 06:00
06:00 AM | BY: VN
An eruption of Ruapehu that occurred on 25 September prompted GeoNet to raise the Alert level to 2 (on a scale of 0-5). Pilots reported that an eruption plume rose to an altitude below 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. Further reports from ski field operators and the Eastern Ruapehu Lahar Alarm and Warning System (ERLAWS) indicated that lahars traveled down the Whakapapa ski field and possibly E in the Whangaehu river valley, and other areas.

On 26 September, aerial observations revealed that the summit area was covered with ash and mud, mostly directed N and reached 2 km from the crater lake. Impact craters caused by falling blocks over 1 m in diameter were also evident.

According to news articles, the eruption prompted evacuations at several ski lodges and caused train service to be temporarily suspended. A boulder crashed through the roof of a hut and injured one person.

Sources: GeoNet, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
From: Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Ruapehu. In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 19 September-25 September 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Previous news

Sun, 18 Mar 2007, 18:41
Sunday morning at 10:47 am local time, a section of Ruapehu volcano's crater walls collapsed under the pressure of the crater lake. The sudden draining of the lake caused a devastating lahar that travelled down from its altitude at 2500 m to sea level. Fortunately, the flash flood of mud drained through a river channel and no people were injured or killed. Authorities closed roads and the nation's main trunk rail track near the southern base of the mountain on New Zealand's North Island. A similar event happened in 1953 killed when a lahar killed 151 people when it washed away a rail bridge, plunging a passenger train into the raging torrent of mud. ... Read all
Wed, 14 Mar 2007, 06:00
According to news articles, a "moderate" lahar from Ruapehu's crater lake traveled E down the Whangaehu River valley on 18 March and reached the sea 140 km away after a soft rock-and-ash dam was breached. The section of dam that failed was about 40 m long and 7 m high. There were no reports of injuries or major damage to infrastructure and only some flooding to farmlands at the base of the volcano. ... Read all
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