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26 May 2013
New Zealand insurers have received no claims for damage from the first eruption of the Mt Tongariro volcano in 115 years, says the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).
“We haven’t heard of any claims being filed but there was damage to a Department of Conservation hut in the area of the eruption,” ICNZ spokesman Brett Solvander told insuranceNEWS.com.au.
Tongariro, 20km from the North Island resort town of Taupo, erupted for a couple of minutes at 11.50pm last Monday, blowing a hole in the side of its crater and spewing rock and ash over the surrounding area.
An ash cloud 12km high led to some regional air services and roads being shut for a short time. Walking tracks in the region remain closed for fear of further eruptions.
Ash coated farmland up to 10km from the volcano and was reported as far away as Napier and Hastings, while sulphur fumes could be smelled 340km south at Wellington.
Tongariro is in a chain of volcanic cones and craters, from which eruptions have been reported 70 times since 1839.
Eruptive activity at Tongariro is now rated as low by geoscience researcher GNS Science, but the organisation warns this could change and it is monitoring the situation with geo-seismic instruments.
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