For the first time in over a century, New Zealand‘s Mount Tongariro has erupted. While there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, the eruption has spewed ash everywhere and is prompting a threat warning for the central North Island.
According to news.com.au, the event threw rock and ash from the area of the volcano known as the Te Mari craters. As of now, the situation on Mount Tongariro is unclear.
“For the moment, things are quiet (but that) doesn’t necessarily mean that the eruption is over and done with – it could reactivate at any time so we’re watching pretty closely,” explained GNS Science volcanologist Michael Rosenberg.
The volcanic alert level for Mt Tongariro has risen from one to two. Moreover, the aviation color code has been raised to red. Roads are closed, domestic flights have been disrupted and nearby residents are being advised to stay indoors to avoid falling rock and ash.
If the wind was to blow towards the north, major cities like Waikato, Auckland and the Bay of Plenty could be affected. Luckily, forecasters are predicting mild winds for the upcoming days.
Mount Tongariro’s last eruption was from November 1896 until October 1897, following eruptions in 1869 and 1892.
[Image via Mirko Thiessen]