Natuurgebied Nieuw-Zeeland onder laag as bedolven

De Nieuw-Zeelandse vulkaan Mount Tongariro is gisteravond kort voor middernacht uitgebarsten. Tijdens de eruptie werden rotsen en as tot een kilometer hoogte de lucht in geblazen. Een groot gebied rondom de vulkaan, die zich bevindt in een uitgestrekt natuurgebied, is bedekt onder een dikke laag as. Een pluim van rook en as drijft oostwaarts. Vliegverkeer in de regio wordt omgeleid of stilgelegd.

De overheid heeft code rood afgekondigd, de hoogste alarmfase bij vulkanische activiteit. Mount Tongariro bevindt zich in het hart van het Nieuw-Zeelandse Noordereiland. De vulkaan was voor het laatst uitgebarsten in 1897. Geologen tonen zich verrast door de eruptie, maar constateerden sinds 20 juli al wel verhoogde seismische activiteit in het gebied. De overheidsdienst GNS Science waarschuwt dat het elk moment tot een grotere uitbarsting kan komen. GNS deelde vanochtend mee dat de vulkanische activiteit weken, maanden en misschien wel jaren kan aanhouden.

Horses eat freshly laid out hay after the eruption of Mount Tongariro coated the ground with volcanic ash at Rangipo in the Tongariro National Park on August 7, 2012. The New Zealand volcano erupted unexpectedly late on August 6 after lying dormant for more than a century, spewing an ash plume that disrupted flights and closed highways, officials said.      AFP PHOTO / Marty Melville Beeld AFP
Horses eat freshly laid out hay after the eruption of Mount Tongariro coated the ground with volcanic ash at Rangipo in the Tongariro National Park on August 7, 2012. The New Zealand volcano erupted unexpectedly late on August 6 after lying dormant for more than a century, spewing an ash plume that disrupted flights and closed highways, officials said. AFP PHOTO / Marty MelvilleBeeld AFP
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epa03346746 A handout photograph released by New Zealand Police showing  ash covering the ground after Mount Tongariro erupted overnight in Turangi, New Zealand, 07 August 2012. The volcano erupted  on 06 August 2012 spewing ash from the Te Maari craters on the northern side of the mountian.  EPA/NEW ZEALAND POLICE / HANDOUT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES Beeld EPA
epa03346746 A handout photograph released by New Zealand Police showing ash covering the ground after Mount Tongariro erupted overnight in Turangi, New Zealand, 07 August 2012. The volcano erupted on 06 August 2012 spewing ash from the Te Maari craters on the northern side of the mountian. EPA/NEW ZEALAND POLICE / HANDOUT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALESBeeld EPA
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Ash from New Zealand's Mount Tongariro covers houses and farmland in this still image taken from video, August 7, 2012. A New Zealand volcano dormant for more than a century has spewed boulders and spread an ash cloud over the center of the country, disrupting air traffic but causing no other damage or injuries. Mount Tongariro, one of three volcanic peaks in the central North Island, roared into life late on Monday night, as craters on the mountain located in a national park near popular hot springs, exploded with bright flashes and thunderous booms. REUTERS/TV3 via Reuters TV (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) NEW ZEALAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NEW ZEALAND. NO ACCESS NEW ZEALAND /  NEW ZEALAND INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY NEW ZEALAND BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS Beeld REUTERS
Ash from New Zealand's Mount Tongariro covers houses and farmland in this still image taken from video, August 7, 2012. A New Zealand volcano dormant for more than a century has spewed boulders and spread an ash cloud over the center of the country, disrupting air traffic but causing no other damage or injuries. Mount Tongariro, one of three volcanic peaks in the central North Island, roared into life late on Monday night, as craters on the mountain located in a national park near popular hot springs, exploded with bright flashes and thunderous booms. REUTERS/TV3 via Reuters TV (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) NEW ZEALAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NEW ZEALAND. NO ACCESS NEW ZEALAND / NEW ZEALAND INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY NEW ZEALAND BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMSBeeld REUTERS
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epa03346745 A handout photograph released by New Zealand Police showing  ash covering the ground after Mount Tongariro erupted overnight in Turangi, New Zealand, 07 August 2012. The volcano erupted  on 06 August 2012 spewing ash from the Te Maari craters on the northern side of the mountian.  EPA/NEW ZEALAND POLICE / HANDOUT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES Beeld EPA
epa03346745 A handout photograph released by New Zealand Police showing ash covering the ground after Mount Tongariro erupted overnight in Turangi, New Zealand, 07 August 2012. The volcano erupted on 06 August 2012 spewing ash from the Te Maari craters on the northern side of the mountian. EPA/NEW ZEALAND POLICE / HANDOUT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALESBeeld EPA
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epa03346737 A handout photograph released by New Zealand Police showing damage to a Department of Conservation hut after Mount Tongariro erupted overnight in Turangi, New Zealand, 07 August 2012. The volcano erupted  on 06 August 2012 spewing ash from the Te Maari craters on the northern side of the mountian.  EPA/NEW ZEALAND POLICE / HANDOUT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES Beeld EPA
epa03346737 A handout photograph released by New Zealand Police showing damage to a Department of Conservation hut after Mount Tongariro erupted overnight in Turangi, New Zealand, 07 August 2012. The volcano erupted on 06 August 2012 spewing ash from the Te Maari craters on the northern side of the mountian. EPA/NEW ZEALAND POLICE / HANDOUT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALESBeeld EPA
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Vic Cassin sweeps ash from a car in Rangipo near Mount Tongariro, New Zealand after an eruption, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. The volcano in New Zealand's central North Island has erupted for the first time in more than a century, sending out an ash cloud that is causing road closures and the cancellation of some domestic flights. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Alan Gibson) AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT Beeld AP
Vic Cassin sweeps ash from a car in Rangipo near Mount Tongariro, New Zealand after an eruption, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. The volcano in New Zealand's central North Island has erupted for the first time in more than a century, sending out an ash cloud that is causing road closures and the cancellation of some domestic flights. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Alan Gibson) AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUTBeeld AP
A man holds a handful of volcanic ashes that fell on a property in Rangipo near the base of Mt Tongariro, New Zealand after an eruption Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. The volcano in New Zealand's central North Island has erupted for the first time in more than a century, sending out an ash cloud that is causing road closures and the cancellation of some domestic flights. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Alan Gibson) AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT Beeld AP
A man holds a handful of volcanic ashes that fell on a property in Rangipo near the base of Mt Tongariro, New Zealand after an eruption Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. The volcano in New Zealand's central North Island has erupted for the first time in more than a century, sending out an ash cloud that is causing road closures and the cancellation of some domestic flights. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Alan Gibson) AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUTBeeld AP

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