Volcanic eruption: How would Auckland cope if one blew?

Scientists have been trying to project what would happen to Auckland if a volcano erupted in our biggest city, and, as you'd expect, their conclusions are grim.

Auckland is already nestled among 52 volcanoes, but scientists expect the next one to blow its top will be in an entirely new location.

They say it'll probably start with a series of jolts.

"The seismographs around Auckland is our key tool in determining when we start seeing earthquakes like that and if we're starting to see any rise in that magma," researcher Thomas Wilson says.

The latest research is based on a hypothetical eruption near Mangere Bridge. It looks at a long list of volcanic threats like ash and lava flows and explores how much time we'd have before it erupted.

"Maybe once we had detection that there's been magma on the move, we might have as little as a few hours, all the way through to days to weeks to even months," Dr Wilson says.

The research says the Mangere Bridge eruption would completely destroy everything within 2.5km. There'd be severe damage between 2.5km and 4km from the volcanic vent, and damage to weak structures up to 6km away.

It could also generate a 2m-high tsunami around the harbour.

Experts say that wouldn't completely devastate the city's power network, but would cause major issues.

The research also predicted more than a year of water restrictions, around two weeks of telecommunication outages, and more than two years of sewage issues.

There have been more than 55 eruptions in Auckland over the past 190,000 years, but experts say it's impossible to know when or where the next big one will hit.

When Newshub hit the streets, everyone admitted they weren't prepared for an eruption. Despite this Auckland Council believes the majority of residents do have a plan, and says there are Civil Defence strategies in place.