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New Zealand volcano on verge of eruption: volcanologists


16:11, November 16, 2012

WELLINGTON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand volcanologists warned Friday that the central North Island mountain of Ruapehu was showing signs of an imminent eruption.

The government's Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences ( GNS Science) said the temperature beneath Ruapehu's Crater Lake was about 800 degrees centigrade, but the lake itself was only 20 degrees centigrade, which suggested a vent was partly blocked.

That could lead to a pressure build-up beneath the Crater Lake, indicating a heightened likelihood of eruptions over the coming weeks to months.

"We think the pressure beneath Ruapehu Crater Lake has increased and this makes an eruption more likely over the next weeks to months," GNS Science duty volcanologist Steve Sherburn said in a statement.

A build-up of pressure beneath the Crater Lake was thought to have caused the last eruption in 2007 and a smaller eruption in 2006.

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