For the first time in over a century–115 years, to be exact–a volcano in New Zealand has erupted. No injuries were reported, but the area around the volcano was covered with a thick layer of volcanic and many homes were evacuated as a precautionary measure. The mountain in question is Mount Tongariro and it’s located almost exactly in the middle of New Zealand, in a sparsely populated national park.
For several weeks, scientists have recorded increased seismic activity beneath Mt. Tongariro. However, nearby residents had little warning prior to the eruption that occurred late Monday evening. Roads were shut down and flights through the airspace were canceled, but it appears that no one was in too much danger.
The ash that spread over the miles surrounding the volcano will require extensive cleanup, but no significant damage was reported.
The park where the mountain is located is a popular tourist destination. It serves as the backdrop for a number of scenes in the Lord of the Rings films.