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Mount Tongariro erupts for first time in a century

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Mount Tongariro erupts for first time in a century

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A New Zealand volcano has roared back to life after lying dormant for more than a century.

The eruption at Mount Tongariro, one of three peaks in central North Island, threw rocks a kilometre into the air and spread an ash cloud towards the city of Napier about 100 kilometres away.

Volcanologists think Monday’s explosion could be the start of a bigger eruption.

“Hiroshima, that’s what the cloud looked liked, Hiroshima,” said one resident.

Some people were evacuated from their homes as a precaution and Air New Zealand cancelled domestic flights to nearby towns.

The last time Mount Tongariro awoke was in 1897. But the neighbouring Mount Ruapehu, the most active volcano in New Zealand, last erupted in 2007.