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Eruption fears rise at 'Mount Doom'

AFP
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A New Zealand volcano that featured as Mount Doom in "The Lord of the Rings" movies is in danger of erupting as pressure builds in a subterranean vent. The Department of Conservation (DOC) warned hikers to avoid the summit of Mount Ruapehu, saying that temperature readings by scientists indicated there was an increased risk of eruption at New Zealand's largest active volcano.

Official monitoring body GNS Science said the temperature a few hundred metres below a lake in the crater of the North Island mountain was estimated at 800 degrees Celsius (1,472 Fahrenheit) but the temperature at the lake itself was just 20C (68F).

It said this indicated a vent was partially blocked, leading to increased pressure that made eruptions more likely "over the next weeks to months."AFP

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