Rising temperatures and tremors on New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu volcano have prompted authorities to raise safety alert levels over fears they could « erupt with little or no warning ».
The temperature at the volcano’s Crater Lake on the country’s North Island has risen to 43 ° C, according to the geological hazard information service GeoNet.
According to GeoNet, eruptions of volcanic tremors and a significant increase in the amount of gas flowing through the lake have also been observed.
The carbon dioxide and sulfur levels in the crater’s gas plume are the highest in two decades.
The factors have led to the fact that the alert level for volcanoes has been raised to two, which means that « volcanic unrest is moderate to increased ». .
The aviation color code was rated « yellow », which means that the volcano « shows signs of increased unrest above the known background values ». .
« Mt. Ruapehu is an active volcano and can erupt in volcanic unrest with little or no warning, « GeoNet said in a statement on Monday.
“Since 2007 the Crater Lake temperature has exceeded 40 ° C several times without leading to an eruption.
“However, the combination of increased sea temperature, volcanic tremors and gas emissions has led to a change in the alert level.
“While volcanic arm level 2 is primarily associated with environmental hazards, eruptions can still occur with little or no warning. ”
Mount Ruapehu, Volcano
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