Geothermal mudpool bursts into Rotorua woman’s backyard (video)


Susan Gedye might have to get used to having a steaming hole to a sulphurous underworld in her backyard.

The Rotorua woman awoke on Tuesday morning to what she thought was an earthquake but later discovered a mudpool had opened behind her house.

Susan Gedye said she was alerted to the new mudpool outside her home when everything started shaking on Tuesday morning.
Everything started shaking and rumbling when the mudpool started to open up on Tuesday morning. Picture by BENN BATHGATE/STUFF

There was mud flying everywhere, it was shaking everything.

GNS volcanologist Brad Scott, who visited the site on Tuesday morning, said it had been the location of geothermal activity before, but “this time round it’s a little bit different“.

GNS staff have been in site investigating and monitoring the new mud pool.
A large geothermal mudpool opened in great shaking in Rotorua home backyard. via Stuff

He said there were three scenarios for the site. “The normal behaviour is for it to cool down and go away,” he said. The other two options were for it to remain active, or the least likely option was for the site to expand.

He said given the amount of heat being given off, “it looks like it wants to stay there“.

GNS Science volcanologist Brad Scott said the eruption was 'part and parcel of living in Rotorua.'
GNS Science volcanologist Brad Scott such mudpool eruptions are part of the living in Rotorua, NZ. Picture via Stuff

He said GNS would continue to monitor the site, but said Meade St residents had little to fear.

I don’t think there’s an issue. It’s part and parcel of living in Rotorua.

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Geothermal mudpool leaves a giant crater in the backyard of a home in Rotorua, New Zealand. Picture by BENN BATHGATE/STUFF

On Tuesday, when her house started rattling at 2am, Susan Gedye thought it was an earthquake, a big one too.

After about two minutes I went to the kitchen and thought shoot, something’s not right here.

Then she had a look outside to see hot mud flying from the ground.

She said she alerted Rotorua Lakes Council to the eruption of mud and steam billowing out of the bank in her garden, and they initially told her she would be safe to stay the night.

It wasn’t a good night’s sleep. “It was shaking the bed all night so it was hard to sleep. It was a long night.

She said that by morning the advice had changed. “There was mud flying everywhere and they said it might be time to go.”

Gedye spoke to Stuff outside her property as steam poured into the sky and the odd spurt of mud was flung upwards, with a loud bubbling noise.

She said the area had seen geothermal activity before, with steam bursting from the bank in 2017. “It just came out of the bank and stopped, but it’s worse this time.

After the geothermal mudpool, formation, there was some ground collapse later in the morning and later in the day. She had to evacuate her home for safety.


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