We humans tend to feel we have conquered nature, but, every now and then, we are reminded that we are dependent on it. And we need to view it with respect.
Tongariro has had a relatively minor eruption today. There is some concern for residents, and a school party that was on the mountain, but so far, everything seems under control and everyone is safe. The state of the mountain is being monitored.
Up to 70 Napier School children were reported to be two hours into a tramp on the Tongariro track.
Two bus drivers from Nimon and Sons, who took the children up to the mountain, had reported back to their base that they could see a plume 2km high, a spokesman said.
Conservation Department area manager Jonathan Maxwell said 30 to 50 people were being evacuated from the Tongariro Crossing track. No injuries had been reported. State highways in the area had been closed.
Lake Rotoaira resident Robyn Bennett said there was a big, black ash cloud over her house, which was about a kilometre from the eruption site.
“It’s just blew her stack,” she said.
She said the air smelled of sulphur.
“It’s hard to breathe if you go outside, it’s pushing out quite heavily.” Bennett said she didn’t hear the eruption but it looked like a new vent had formed in front of a previous eruption crater. The ash cloud was moving east towards Napier and Taupo.
Ruapehu has shown signs of activity recently, but has not shown signs of erupting. It’s not certain if volcanic activities on the 2 mountains are connected. I do find volcanoes to be quite awesome – may be to do with growing up in Auckland. I don’t know a lot about the science. But, I’m intrigued that, it was once totally discounted that there was a link between earthquakes and volcanic activity. Now it seems to be something that is being considered.
Maori have continued to have more respect for the awesome power of nature. It’s to be seen in their traditional stories. Tongariro is the belly of Maui’s fish. This and the surrounding areas were gifted to the people of Aotearoa in 1887:
In 1887 Te Heuheu Tukino IV (Horonuku), then the paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, gifted the sacred peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and part of Ruapehu, to the people of New Zealand. This prevented the land being divided up and preserved the mana (prestige…) of the Tuwharetoa people.
Until August of this year, it had been dormant for 115 years.