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Volcanic Activity in New Zealand Prompts Alert at 'Lord of the Rings' Site

Image: Volcanic Activity in New Zealand Prompts Alert at 'Lord of the Rings' Site
New Zealand Scenic. Lake Taupo with a yacht in the foreground and the Tongariro Ranges, Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 12 May 2016 01:03 PM

Volcanic activity in New Zealand has prompted officials to raise the alert level of Mount Ruapehu, which was famously featured in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Hikers are being advised to stay at least two kilometers (1.24 miles) away from the crater of the volcano, which is located on New Zealand's Central North Island, CNN reported. Ski areas and roads on Mount Ruapehu remain unaffected.

More specifically, GNS Science issued an Alert Level 2 for the area, indicating "moderate to heightened volcanic unrest."

The alert was the result of efforts to monitor seismic activity, volcanic gas output, and heat flow, which revealed that the temperature of the crater lake has risen from 68 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit during the past two and a half weeks.

That is the latest in eight heating episodes at Mount Ruapehu since 2010. None of the increases in heat have resulted in eruptions.

The likelihood of an eruption remains low, volcanologist Geoff Kilgour said, according to Radio New Zealand.

In an attempt to dispel myths, volcanologist Brad Scott told The New Zealand Herald that the increased volcanic activity had "nothing to do with weather" or recent eruptions at White Island, which is located on the east coast of the North Island.

That island erupted overnight on April 27, creating a new crater, causing landslides, and excavating some of the lake, the newspaper said in a separate report.

Resident of towns near Mount Ruapehu needn't worry, Scott said.

"Being away from the volcano is very safe and even the standard places you can go. Different story if you go and climb the thing and you're camping at the crater lake or something. … Once off you're off the bottom of the volcano, nothing can touch you [sic]," Scott told the newspaper.

The volcano's last big eruption, in 1996, closed local airports, The Independent reported.

The volcano was filmed as Mount Doom in Mordor in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

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Volcanic activity in New Zealand has prompted officials to raise the alert level of Mount Ruapehu, which was famously featured in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.
volcanic, activity, new zealand
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2016-03-12
Thursday, 12 May 2016 01:03 PM
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