A volcano in the centre of New Zealand's North Island erupted violently on Wednesday (19 February), blasting ash and rocks hundreds of metres (feet) into the air .
AERIAL VIEW Smoke rising above mountain
AERIAL VIEW Cloud of smoke
GV Ashes and smoke around mountain (2 shots)
AERIAL VIEWS Smoke and ashes above volcano (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: RICHARD LONG: "Smoke from the mountain could be seen more than eighty miles away as we flew towards it in the mid-afternoon. As we got near, all Lake Taupo was covered by a grey haze while the mountain itself was surrounded by white cloud and brown smoke. With a bang that thumped the bottom of the aircraft another eruption began. In the forty minutes or so that we circled the crater there was a series of outbursts of eruptions lasting a few minutes and of varying strengths. From the air it was impossible to see any movement on the mountain's slopes but people on the ground report ash movement down both sides of the mountain almost to the foot of the main cone. There've been deposits of ash at Tokaanu and a little bit reported from the hydro construction township of Turangi near the foot of Lake Taupo. Shock waves have been violently shaking buildings at the Chateau Hotel and Whakapapa ski village. The mountain is still rumbling and loud explosions are occurring about every half an hour. Tonight a back-up team of D.S.I.R. scientists reached the mountain from Rotorua to begin round-the-clock observations until the mountain quietens again."
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BLACK AND WHITE TELERECORDING
Editor's Note: This film is serviced with an English commentary by NZBC Reporter Richard Long.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A volcano in the centre of New Zealand's North Island erupted violently on Wednesday (19 February), blasting ash and rocks hundreds of metres (feet) into the air . By nightfall the pall of smoke and ash had reached a height of 15,000 metres (45,000 feet).
Rocks were thrown up to 1500 metres (4,500 feet) from the crater and volcanic ash covered all sides of the mountain. Light ash settled over a 200-km (120-mile) radius including several townships.
Mount Ngauruhoe is one of three mountains grouped close together in the centre of the North Island at the foot of Lake Taupo. It is usually slightly active but only erupts with the intensity of last week's outburst every ten years or so.