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Be prepared for any ash fall

7 Aug 2012

Be prepared for any ash fall

The eruption of Tongariro last night is not affecting the district at this stage.

However, Gisborne Civil Defence controller Jon Davies says this morning, the eruption is an excellent opportunity for people to be prepared if a bigger eruption takes place or if the wind changes and ash comes towards the district.

“We are currently monitoring the situation. While we are not in any danger of ash fall at the moment, the public should consider what to do if the situation changes. Ash is unlikely to affect the Gisborne district today but if the wind is in our direction, ash could reach the district within 2 hours of any eruption.” Mr Davies says.

If ash falls in the area, certain precautions are advised.

• Stay indoors. Close all windows and doors to limit the entry of ash. Volcanic Ash is a health hazard.
• Turn off air conditioners.
• Disconnect spouting from rainwater tanks.
• If outdoors, wear a dust mask, goggles, cloth or handkerchief to cover the nose and eyes.
• Avoid wearing contact lenses. Ash can get between the lens and the eye.
• Ensure you have sufficient household supplies.
• If you suffer from asthma, bronchitis or any other chronic health condition, make sure you have medication up to date.

If travelling today, Gisborne Police advise to check before travelling to the central North Island, The Desert Road is closed but there are no restrictions on travel in or out of Gisborne .

“This is a precautionary step. We advise people to check the Gisborne District Council’s website for more information and listen to local radio. Listen to your local Civil Defence advice.”