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Preparing for Auckland's next volcanic eruption

Published: 19 June 2019

Auckland’s Emergency Management team will be featured responding to a simulated volcanic eruption on a Prime documentary 'Beneath New Zealand', to be screened at 8.30pm on Sunday 23 June.

This is the third episode in a three-part series on New Zealand’s volcanic history and will focus on the potential for a volcanic eruption in Auckland.

The programme will show how scientists and emergency services collaborate to understand Auckland’s active volcanic field and plan for a future volcanic eruption.

“Scary though the idea is, Aucklanders have to be aware of how they can prepare for such an event,” says Sarah Sinclair, Acting General Manager of Auckland Emergency Management.

“This programme brings an element of reality to something that could happen at any time. 

"Auckland Emergency Management has an experienced and well-drilled team and we frequently run exercises with response agencies to practice what could happen and how we would react in a disaster such as this,” she added.

Dr Angela Doherty, Principal Science Advisor at Auckland Emergency Management said: “Auckland could potentially experience a range of impacts from an eruption including lava flows, ash fall, ground deformation and localised base surges (dangerous clouds of superheated rock and ash).”

Most of Auckland’s 53 volcanoes have only erupted once, and the likelihood is the next eruption will be at a new, and so far, unknown location, Dr Doherty added.

“Taking part in the documentary has been a really good opportunity to highlight to Aucklanders the possibility of a volcanic event. While it is low risk, we know that it would have a major impact on Auckland,” said Matthew Bramhall, Duty Manager.

“Aucklanders can start by having conversations with their whānau about what they would do, not just for this event but for any emergency where they could be affected.”

To learn how to prepare and make a plan for yourself and family in an emergency visit aucklandemergencymanagement.org.nz

On Tuesday 25 June, at 12.30pm Auckland Emergency Management experts will answer live questions via Auckland Emergency Management Facebook.

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