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Mount Tongariro in the North Island of New Zealand erupted just before midnight last night – but there’s no need to reschedule travel plans as we can confirm that this poses no threats to anyone visiting or travelling the country. At this stage only a few flights to some North Island towns (such as Napier and Gisborne) have been delayed or cancelled due to volcanic ash – and there are alternative transport options to these destinations, such as buses. For those with a love of skiing and snowboarding, the good news is Mt Ruapehu (not far from Mt Tongariro), the home of popular Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas, is business as usual. The Te Mari crater, where the eruption occurred, is at least 20 kilometres away from the ski area. The volcanic vents on Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe, and Mt Ruapehu are independent of each other and there is no reason or indication of volcanic activity on Mt Ruapehu. The ash has blown out to the east over the Desert Road. As of 6:30 am this morning there had only been a single eruption. New Zealand Police are reviewing the closure of State Highway 46 and the Desert Road at daybreak.

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