Ro­torua gey­sers erupt af­ter earth­quake

Rotorua Review - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DONNA-LEE BID­DLE

A Ro­torua res­i­dent woke to loud thuds on Mon­day morn­ing and evac­u­ated her home af­ter re­al­is­ing it was wa­ter squirt­ing from nearby gey­sers.

Lani Kere­opa lives in Ohine­mutu Vil­lage, on the edge of Lake Ro­torua.

At 4.30am, she heard ‘‘six or seven loud thuds with what I now know was spray, wa­ter spray that woke me up’’.

‘‘And I thought, was that fire­works? But it was at 4.30 this morn­ing so I thought, it can’t be road­works or fire­works.

‘‘So I laid in bed, just try­ing to fig­ure out what that could have been. Then an­other one hap­pened so I stood up, looked out the win­dow.

‘‘[I] was look­ing around at the vil­lage and it was pitch black, so I was think­ing, well, noth­ing much looks dif­fer­ent, even though it was dark and that’s when I saw wa­ter spray­ing up out of the lake, about 20 me­tres or so.

‘‘[The spray] was at the the mouth of [Lake] Ruapeka – higher than the Po­hutu [Geyser] and it was a whole lot of wa­ter.’’

On Sun­day night, low-slip earth­quakes were de­tected in Kapiti and Manawatu, adding to sim­i­lar ac­tiv­ity al­ready seen in Gis­borne and Hawke’s Bay.

The an­nounce­ment by GeoNet of the slow slip­ping in the west of the lower North Is­land was fol­lowed about 9.30pm on Sun­day by a widely felt mag­ni­tude-4.5 quake 35km west of Para­pa­raumu at a depth of 27km.

GNS Sci­ence duty seis­mol­o­gist Caro­line Holden said that quake could be linked to the Kapiti slowslip event.

But it could also be an af­ter­shock of the mag­ni­tude-7.8 Kaik­oura quake, which hap­pened just af­ter mid­night on Novem­ber 14, she said.

But there had been no con­fir­ma­tion from GeoNet yet as to whether the earth­quakes were re­lated to the hy­dro­ther­mal ac­tiv­ity in Ohine­mutu.

Kere­opa said friends told her there had been ac­tiv­ity in that same area pre­vi­ously so ‘‘that gives me a lit­tle hope that we’re not in the early stages of an erup­tion’’.

‘‘[When it hap­pened], I pan­icked and ran down­stairs to say to ev­ery­one, get out the house, the vil­lage is erupt­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘We got in the car and come up to the Lake­house Tav­ern carpark and sat up [there] for the last hour just watch­ing to see if any­thing else was hap­pen­ing.’’

The geyser was seen from Ohine­mutu Vil­lage, pic­tured.

GNS Sci­ence duty seis­mol­o­gist Caro­line Holden said that quake could be linked an af­ter­shock of the mag­ni­tude-7.8 Kaik­oura quake.

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