New Zealand volcano roars to life

By REUTERS
August 7, 2012 01:49

 
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WELLINGTON - A New Zealand volcano dormant for more than a century has spewed boulders and spread an ash cloud over the center of the country, disrupting air traffic but causing no other damage or injuries.

Mount Tongariro, one of three volcanic peaks in the central North Island, roared into life late on Monday night, as craters on the mountain located in a national park near popular hot springs, exploded with bright flashes and thunderous booms.

The spew of rocks, fine particles and steam from the snow-capped, 1,978-m (6,490-ft) peak, was caused by a pressure buildup of volcanic gases, volcanologists said, after seismic activity had increased in recent weeks.

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