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Image for the Volcanoes page.
This page contains information about what to do in the event of a volcanic eruption.
Updated: 7/06/2012 2:56 p.m.
Photograph of erupting volcano.
​Volcano erupting

New Zealand has seven active volcanic centres, all in the North Island.

Before an eruption occurs

  • discover whether there are volcanic hazards likely to affect you
  • if you live in an active volcanic zone, assume that you may have to deal with the effects of an eruption
  • if you live in an area that could experience a lava flow during a volcanic eruption, know a quick route to safe ground.

When an eruption threatens

  • if volcanologists agree that a life-threatening eruption is likely to take place, a Civil Defence Emergency will be declared and the danger area evacuated
  • listen to your radio for information and follow civil defence advice.

During an eruption

  • DO save water in your bath, basin, containers or cylinders at an early stage -supplies may become polluted
  • DO stay indoors with your pets as much as possible
  • DO wear a mask and goggles if you go outside, to keep volcanic ash out of your eyes and lungs
  • DO keep gutters and roof clear of ash – heavy deposits can collapse the roof
  • DO take your outdoor clothing off before entering a building -volcanic ash is difficult to get rid of
  • DO take your Getaway Kit with you if you have to leave. Turn electricity and gas off at the mains
  • DO keep below ridge lines in hilly terrain –the hill will offer some protection from flying volcanic debris
  • DON'T go sightseeing
  • DON'T leave home unless advised to by Civil Defence.



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