Mt. Doom in the news

New Zealand’s Tongariro, where parts of The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, erupted briefly yesterday. ((Some accounts state that this is its first eruption in over a century. That’s not strictly accurate. The particular crater might not have been active since the 19th century, but other vents in the Tongariro complex, which includes the photogenic Ngauruhoe, have erupted as recently as 1977.)) About two inches of ash are said to have fallen three miles from the volcano. There are no reports of damage or injuries. Things are currently quiet, but that can change rapidly.

Coincidentally, White Island had a small eruption a couple of days earlier. Like Tongariro, White Island is part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. It has been quiet, and a tourist attraction, for about a decade.

Update: Further information about Tongariro. There’s also more information at Volcano Café on Tongariro and White Island.