Almost 9 months since its last eruption, Ruapehu is keeping New Zealanders guessing about its next move. Brad Scott of GNS Science (NZ) reports that the crater lake at Ruapehu is reading unusually warm temperatures and high gas emissions, well after geologists there would have expected after the last eruption. Their conclusion doesn’t seem to point to an imminent eruption, but rather just “unrest” at the volcano. Ruapehu is a fairly unique situation, mitigation-wise, as the volcano is a popular tourist destination for its skiing, but is also a relatively active volcano. This means that officials in New Zealand need to be especially on their toes as the fine line between safety and disaster could be easily crossed if Ruapehu erupts.
Edit 6/30/08: I’ll add on a link to a more in-depth report on the conditions at Ruapehu. This report lists the crater lake temperatures fluctuating between 34 and 37 C. This new link is nice because it goes into more detail about the trials and tribulations about hazard mitigation near Ruapehu.