WELLINGTON — Volcanic activity at New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu is increasing and an eruption could occur at any time, scientists warned on Tuesday.
The volcano in central North Island, famed as a location in the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy, last erupted on Sept. 25 2007, spitting 2-meter (6 feet) boulders distances of up to 2 kms (1.5 miles).
Ruapehu’s elevated alert level has not been changed, but scientists said on Tuesday that activity within the mountain was greater, with high levels of gas spewing out, a warmer than average crater lake and ongoing volcanic tremors.
“The volcano remains in a status of unrest and the possibility of further activity remains. If further eruptions occur, they may occur without warning,” Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) said in a statement.