Rotorua geysers erupt after earthquake
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.