Tongariro's Te Maari Crater erupts again
Updated November 21, 2012, 1:58 pm
[link to nz.news.yahoo.com
Mt Tongariro in the central North Island has erupted, GNS Science says.
An eruption and a plume of smoke from the Te Maari Crater, on the northern side of Tongariro, was captured on web camera about 1.30pm on Wednesday.
The eruption prompted the volcanic alert level was raised to "minor eruptive activity" and the aviation colour code to red - "eruption is forecast to be imminent and significant ash emission into the atmosphere likely".
Last week, GNS warned there was increased activity underneath nearby Mt Ruapehu.
In August, the upper Te Maari Crater erupted, sending rocks falling within 1km of the crater, damaging Ketetahi Hut - one of four trampers' huts on the mountain.
Light ash fell as far away as Taupo and Napier, while the smell of gas - similar to the "rotten eggs" smell experienced in Rotorua - had drifted to Wellington.
The eruption saw flights diverted away from the centre of the North Island.