New Zealand scientists have raised the alert level for a giant volcano – which is the source of Earth’s largest eruption in the past 5,000 years.
GeoNet says it has detected nearly 700 small earthquakes beneath Lake Taupo, the crater created by the Taupo Volcano and New Zealand’s largest lake.
It said in a statement that it raised the volcano alert level to 1 from 0.
The volcano warning system is based on six levels of escalation of the unrest, but Geonet notes that eruptions can occur at any level and the levels may not move in sequence. because activity can change rapidly.
The Taupo volcano last erupted about 1,800 years ago, when it spewed more than 100 cubic kilometers of material into the atmosphere around 200 BC.
The eruption devastated a large area of New Zealand’s central North Island in pre-human habitation.
Geonet said the largest eruption on the planet in the last 5,000 years.
The agency added that it was the first time it had raised the Taupo Volcano alert level to 1, but it was not the first time there had been unrest and said the possibility of an eruption remained. very low.
Earthquakes ‘may continue’
It said: “Earthquakes and deformations are likely to continue in the coming weeks or months.”
New Zealand lies on the boundary between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates, and has experienced many earthquakes and volcanoes.
In 2019, White Island, known as Whakaari, suddenly erupted and spewed steam and ash, killing 22 people and seriously injuring 25, mostly tourists.