Earthquake swarm sets off Mt Ruapehu's eruption alarms

Mt Ruapehu's Ski Area eruption alarms have been set off by multiple earthquakes rocking the central North Island.

A number of small quakes rattled the Taupō and Tūrangi areas in quick succession earlier on Sunday morning.

The earthquakes combined with strong wind gusts to set off the eruption detection system (EDS) and triggered the alert, forcing those on the mountain to seek safety indoors.

"For the alarm to sound, the system needs to see earthquakes and airwaves together - like the perfect storm mimicking an eruption," the Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa and Tūroa Ski Areas Facebook page posted.

"This morning we have had both factors and as a result, EDS alarms have sounded. We can confirm that these were false positives, and there is no cause for concern at this time."

GNS Science said seismologists and volcanologists are continuing to keep an eye on the Taupō-Tūrangi area.

"Taupō's recent restless spell has continued today with more small, shallow quakes occurring in the past 24 hours, with the largest half dozen between magnitude 3.0 and 3.8," a spokesperson told Newshub.

"A number of these were centred near Tūrangi and were felt by local residents. Swarms of small, shallow quakes are reasonably common in this region and mostly they pass without incident."

The spokesperson said the quake swarms can sometimes last for a day or longer.

"This is a fairly common phenomenon in volcanic areas throughout the world."