Even though it erupted for the first time in more than a century on August 6, shooting boulders up to one-meter-wide into the air, Mount Tongariro, which sits on New Zealand's North Island, is perhaps best known as the neighbor of Mount Ngauruhoe, the stand-in for the fictional Mount Doom in Peter Jackson's award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tongariro came to life again earlier this week when a five-minute eruption shot ash, smoke, and gas 4km into the sky. The eruption, which was followed by 15 minutes of volcanic activity, led to the cancelation of several flights as air traffic coordinators feared volcanic ash, which contains pieces of glass, could clog the turbine engines of commercial aircraft.
While the immediate threat has passed, experts monitoring the mountain predict another sudden eruption of similar size could take place within the next couple of weeks. "Should a further eruption occur, a new national advisory or warning would be issued," according to the New Zealand Herald. There's also the possibility, volcanologists from GNS, a government-owned company that focuses on geology, geophysics, and nuclear science, warn, of a much larger event.