Volcano Erupts in New Zealand; Domestic Flights Affected

USA Today is reporting that a volcano that has been dormant for more than a century erupted in a New Zealand national park yesterday, spreading thick ash for several miles and causing some residents to evacuate their homes. Some domestic flights were canceled Tuesday.

Mount Tongariro spewed ash and rocks for about 30 minutes late Monday night after a few weeks of increased seismic activity. There were no reports of injuries or damage in the sparsely populated central North Island region. Tongariro National Park has three active volcanos, is a popular tourist destination and was the backdrop for many scenes in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Some residents left their homes as a precaution, and authorities temporarily closed roads. National carrier Air New Zealand canceled or delayed domestic flights to towns near the mountain, though by Tuesday afternoon, it said it was resuming service to locations where the ash cloud had cleared. No international flights were affected.

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