Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano and last erupted in 2007. Because the crater is filled with water and this overlies the vent of the volcano, when an eruption does occur, this lake water gets ejected into the air and can cause lahars.
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A lahar is a volcanic mudflow that travels down gullies and valleys at approximately 60-90 km/h and contains ash, mud, water and other debris. Lahars present a significant hazard to the users of the mountain and it’s facilities, and because of this a lot of work has gone into warning systems, public awareness and emergency planning. Although more lahar paths pass through Whakapapa, Turoa is also affected by some eruptions.
All people planning visits to Ruapehu should make themselves familiar with the information posters above which outline all key safe areas around the Turoa and Whakapapa Ski Areas and is posted around both areas.
If a volcanic eruption does occur at Whakapapa, an audio alarm will sound from a series of speakers located around the ski area, at the same time a message is sent to a pager kept with the Ski Area Manager.
In the event of a volcanic eruption, immediately move to higher ground and out of valleys. Stay in a safe zone until you receive further instructions from Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd. staff.