Volcano tourists warned to be careful
Fri, 10 Aug 2012 7:13a.m.
Tourist operators are being warned to take extreme caution when visiting White Island after volcanic activity escalated yesterday.
The eruption lit up the night sky, putting on a dazzling lightning show as static electricity built up in the ash plume.
GNS scientists says the island erupted on Sunday and has been rumbling ever since.
“It seems like people have been seeing quite a spectacular lightning show," says volcanologist Michael Rosenberg.
"What we think is happening is its static electricity building up in the ash plume coming out of white island is being discharged as lightning."
There were unconfirmed reports of ash landing in Papamoa last night.
White Island has been quiet since 2001.
It's not linked to Mt Tongariro's recent eruption, and locals have nothing to worry about. The alert level remains at 2, however.
Scientists suspected White Island would erupt after a quake hit the island last week.
There have been a number of earthquakes in the vicinity of the island since the beginning of July.
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