Some years ago a group of us enjoyed my birthday in Ketetahi Hut on the north side of Mt Tongariro. After Monday night’s eruption the hut has holes through the roof, floor and bunks and the water tank is askew. Luckily, it’s winter and there was no one in the hut. The track is blocked with huge boulders.
A short and beautiful walk uphill from the hut are the Te Maari Craters, where it was thought the eruptions occurred. However, there appear to be new craters in the vicinity.
It’s now up to GNS to determine whether the eruption is steam driven or magma driven. If it’s steam driven then the initial pressure released should subside and we should see less activity but if magma is pushing into the volcano then activity will be sporadic. (Just like in Fire in the Mountain, which will finally be released before the end of the month). GNS will analyse the ash to determine the driver of the eruptions.