The Department of Conservation said that the top of Mount Ruapehu will be off-limits for some time as pressure is building within the central North Island Mountain and it could erupt any time. Geologists have warned hikers and trekkers to stay away from Mount Ruapehu in the coming weeks. Scientists believe that an eruption is inevitable.
"We think that the temperature a few hundred meters beneath Crater Lake is about 800 degree Celsius, but the lake itself is only about 20 degree Celsius. This suggests the vent is partly blocked, which may be leading to a pressure buildup beneath Crater Lake," Live Science quoted volcanologist Steven Sherburn.
"Sooner or later that situation will be rectified, either in a small, relatively passive way, or with a significant eruption," Harry Keys, volcanic risk manager at the department of conservation, told Radio New Zealand, Live Science reported.
The scientists were forced to issue warnings as the rising temperatures in the ground surrounding the peak rose up to about 800 C. Mount Ruapehu last erupted in 2007.
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