Temperatures in Ruapehu’s bubbling crater lake have risen to the hottest on record.
Ruapehu is the largest active volcano in New Zealand, and is the highest point in the North Island.
An aerial observation was conducted over Mt Ruapehu to check it out.
This sort of activity had not been seen in years. GNS Science said a temperature of 44 degrees is “the hottest lake temperature we have recorded since the new lake was established post 2000.”
But the elevated temperatures did not necessarily mean an eruption was imminent. Sometimes Ruapehu has erupted from cold lake temperatures.
The developments weren’t sufficient enough to upgrade Mt Ruapehu’s Volcanic Alert Level, which remained at 1.
The last time it erupted was on September 25, 2007, causing a seven-minute-long earthquake, two lahars and flying rocks — one which crushed the leg of primary school teacher William Pike when it landed on Dome Shelter near the crater.
Since then, there have been warnings in 2008, 2011, 2012 and this year — all of which did not result in another major event.