2 Jul 2009

State of emergency lifted in Waihi village

9:54 pm on 2 July 2009

A state of emergency has been lifted in Waihi village in the central North Island on Thursday night.

About 50 residents from the village at the southern end of Lake Taupo voluntarily moved out of their homes on Monday due to increased seismic and geothermal activity in the region and the risk of landslides.

The village was evacuated and State Highway 41 over the Waihi hill closed. The road reopened on Thursday.

Civil Defence said scientists have found no cracking or slumping of the land above the village. It says it is now comfortable that it is safe to return, although monitoring will continue.

Civil Defence Minister John Carter said the state of emergency was lifted at 7pm and praised the villagers and local authorities for the way they have dealt with the situation.

Most residents will return to their homes on Friday.