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Also by Glacier Explorers: Glacier surge at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
Passengers aboard two Glacier Explorer boats encountered numerous waves of up to 3.5 metres as around 30 million tonnes of ice collapsed into the Tasman Glacier’s Terminal Lake following today’s major earthquake.
General Manager Tourism for Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Village Ltd, Denis Callesen, said the quake caused a major calving from the Basal and Terminal Face of the Glacier and that subsequent waves over the next 30 minutes caused the huge icebergs in the lake to roll, in turn causing more disturbance.
“We have procedures to deal with this type of event and for some time have stayed 800 metres away from the Terminal Face as we suspected it was becoming unstable,” he said.
The calving was the third biggest event in the history of the Terminal Lake, which is now over six kilometres long and two kilomtres wide in places, following a huge calving last July.
Mr Callesen said this was the first quake felt at the Aoraki Mt Cook Village since the major quake last September.