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Mt Taranaki eruption 'could spew ash over Auckland'

Breaking Volcanic News: New Zealand
Ash Warning

Mt. Taranaki Volcano Camera

Feb 20, 2007
Auckland could be suffocated with a layer of ash next time Mt Taranaki erupts, which could be relatively soon, say scientists. Aucklanders might think they were safe from far-away volcanoes. But ash from Lake Pupuke showed the city had been affected by eruptions from Mt Taranaki and farther afield. Mount Taranaki has about a 400-year cycle and last erupted about 300 years ago. If a major eruption happened, Auckland could be coated with between one millimetre and several centimetres of ash. The latter would disrupt air traffic, indefinitely shut down Auckland airport and damage infrastructure. "If ash gets wet it's a very good conductor of electricity. It would affect big electricity transformers and power lines and that sort of thing." Contaminated water supplies could pose a public health risk, and when the fine-grained ash dried out and blew around it could interfere with people's breathing. New Plymouth, located directly north of Mt Taranaki, could expect up to a metre-thick layer of ash, blocking streets and damaging buildings. "These things are very controlled by the direction the wind is blowing in – you wouldn't expect a uniform blanket of ash across the whole country or even across a city."

RUSSIA - The Shiveluch Volcano in Kamchatka has emitted ash to the height of 5.2 kilometers. The cloud of ash drifted 40 kilometers northwest of the volcano, whose eruption started on December 5, 2006. Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano, located near Shiveluch, is also active. Some 455 tremors occurred in the volcano area during the day, and over 70 tremors were registered 30 kilometers under the main crater. Steam, gas and ash gushed up to 500 meters high. The eruption of the 4.8-kilometer-high Klyuchevskaya Sopka started on February 15. The crater, which is 400 meters wide and 400 meters deep, is slowly filling with lava, but there are no streams of lava on the volcano sides yet. Experts say that the volcano’s activity will intensify. Both volcanoes are being monitored permanently. So far, they do not endanger local villages.
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