New Zealand Volcano Erupts


Categories: Geocaching News


Geocaches will be harder to find in the central North Island of New Zealand this morning after the relatively dormant volcano, Mt Tongariro, erupted over night, sending ash and fiery rocks over the land.

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The eruption, which has sent a 7000 metre plume of ash into the air and disrupted air traffic, occurred in the Te Maari craters at 11:50am last night.

TVNZ have reported witnesses as seeing ““flame-like explosions”, red hot rocks being thrown into the air, lightning, hearing loud explosions and one witness reported a cloud of ash coming from “a new hole in the side of the mountain”.

There are no reports of injury, however local authorities would be checking to ensure no one was trapped in the area.

The Tongariro crossing, a popular trail through the area, does pass close to the eruption zone and a number of geocaches close by will likely be affected.

The closest cache appears to be GC11ZEC Ketetahi Cafe, with another cache, the aptly named Ketetahi Steamer (GC1Q0WA) a little further down the trail.

The Volcanic Alert Level for Tongariro was increased from 1 to 2 following the eruption. Volcanologists are continuing to monitor the situation but admit there was no indications the volcano would erupt.¬†“This eruption caught us by surprise. We’ve been monitoring the area after earthquakes, but we didn’t expect this.”

The good news is this eruption should have no impact on the forthcoming NZ MEGA, being held in late October this year, as it is located in the South Island thousands of kilometres from the eruption.

The last significant eruption in the area was the neighbouring volcano Mt Ruapehu in 1995, with Tongariro last erupting in 1897.



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