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RUAPEHU EXPLOSIONS WILD STORIES DISCOUNTED P.A. WANGANUI, Tuesday. While admitting that Ruapehu was gradually becoming more violent every day and explosions were more numerous, Mr. L. Fields, postmaster at Ohakune, last night discounted wild stories that there was a state of panic or apprehension among residents in the district. Naturally, he said, the people were interested in the state of the mountain, but they had become more or less accustomed to its behaviour.

"The volumes of smoke are increasing in intensity after every explosion," added Mr. Fields. "When these explosions occur it is a remarkable sight. The smoke rises to a height estimated at between 15,000 ft and 20,000 ft. It is then caught by the prevailing wind and spreads out over the countryside." "There is nothing to substantiate rumours that trucks are standing by to evacuate personnel from the Waiouru camp and Ohakune," said the Mayor of Ohakune, Mr. H. Delamar, to-day. Dr. W. J. Feltham, Mayor of Raetihi, also discounted wild rumours circulating that evacuation had been planned. "Although the mountain is more violent than it was a month ago, reports of its violent eruption are without foundation," said Mr. E. Loader, Mayor of Taihape.

"Having a Terrible Time"

Writing to friends in Wanganui, a resident of Hihitahi, which is between Taihape and Ohakune, states: "We are having a terrible time with the old mountain. We are just about smothered with sulphur dust. The sunporch is inches deep every morning and the garden and paddocks are grey. This morning (Monday) the rumblings were just like an earthquake." An officer in the Waiouru military camp confirms Mr. Field's statement that activity in the crater has greatly increased in the past few days. He said that the explosions were louder and more frequent. The camp has had continuous coatings of reddish and sometimes greyish ash. He said that the stories of evacuation were just ridiculous. The dust coatings vary according to the prevailing wind, and so does the sound of the explosions. If the wind is in the west people on the east side of the mountain are often unaware of the degree of activity, and when the mountain is enveloped in cloud less notice is taken because the smoke is lost to view, and if the wind is blowing away from where on observer may be living explosions from the crater are not always heard.

Waiouru Heavy Dusting A Press Association message from Wellington states that the Army Department is concerned about the condition of vehicles at the Waiouru camp if the mountain continues to erupt as at present. So far the dust and ash have been in the "nuisance value" category at Waiouru, Ohakune and Taihape. Yesterday at Ohakune it was bad, but it appeared from there that Waiouru was getting most of the trouble, the wind carrying its load mostly in that direction. Conditions were much the same early this afternoon. Waiouru has been receiving a heavy dusting since last Thursday. By Monday night the ash had changed colour from white to light pink and had become heavier and coarser. It is now like sharp fine sand.

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Bibliographic details

MORE NUMEROUS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

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MORE NUMEROUS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945

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