Mangapoike slip causes road closure
A large landslide on the Mangapoike River has become a significant hazard and people are warned to stay away from it.
The landslide was likely triggered by a small earthquake in the area earlier this month and has now formed a large dam behind it.
The dam is about 40 metres deep and rising, while the area affected by the landslide is 25.8 hectares. The landslide is still moving.
Downstream landowners and river users are strongly advised to keep out of the riverbed as there is a risk of dam failure due to the heavy weight of water behind the landslide.
Council environmental and science manager Lois Easton says the dam may inundate a bridge at Paparatu by this weekend which would block road access to Mangapoike Station.
Tairawhiti Roads general manager Dave Hadfield says Paparatu Road will be closed to the public from today.
“This is to mitigate the risk to road users. Contractors will be installing the signs at the intersection of Waingake and Paparatu Roads this afternoon.
“We are still in the process of consulting with the affected residents and providing them with the appropriate documentation to access their properties, as driving through a road closure is an offence under the regulations and has insurance implications.”
There is no date for when the road will reopen at this stage.
No water is leaking from the dam yet but it is rising by about 60cm a day.
Gisborne District Council is working with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Wairoa District Council to assess the risk of dam failure and develop and ongoing management plan.
Photo: By Dr Murry Cave, principal scientist for Gisborne District Council