Comparative preparedness in New Zealand and the Philippines for response to, and recovery from, volcanic eruptions

Case studies from the 1991 Pinatubo eruption and the 1995-6 eruptions of Ruapehu

  • V. Manville Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, Taupo, New Zealand
  • D. Johnston Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, Taupo, New Zealand
  • S. Stammers University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • B. Scott Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, Taupo, New Zealand

Abstract

New Zealand and the Philippines are two of the most tectonically and volcanically active regions in the world, due to their setting as large island chains on the convergent margin of the Pacific Plate. The Philippines has experienced numerous volcanic disasters over the past 400 years with the loss of over 7000 lives and considerable damage to infrastructure. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, after 500 years of dormancy, was the largest volcanic eruption globally in the last 50 years, with serious socio-economic consequences for the Philippines. The 1995-6 eruptions of New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu, were the most serious volcanic activity experienced in the country over the last 50 years, but occurred at a frequently active volcano for which monitoring, hazard assessment, and response systems were already in place. Although the eruptions differ in size by two orders of magnitude, they illustrate how volcanic activity impacts infrastructure and society at different levels of economic development and vulnerability. Two of New Zealand's volcanic centres, Taupo and Okataina, have the potential to generate eruptions of a similar, or even greater, scale than Pinatubo. Therefore, lessons learnt from the Philippine experience will be of vital importance in planning for the mitigation of future volcanic disasters in New Zealand.

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Published
2000-12-31
How to Cite
Manville, V., Johnston, D., Stammers, S., & Scott, B. (2000). Comparative preparedness in New Zealand and the Philippines for response to, and recovery from, volcanic eruptions. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 33(4), 445-476. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.33.4.445-476
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Articles