Category: World / November 21, 2012 12:25 PM EST
New Zealand’s Mount Tongariro erupted at 1.25pm local time on Wednesday according to officials
The GeoNet website said webcam images showed a massive plume of ash billowing into the air from the Te Maari Crater, on the west of the mountain.
Schoolchildren and hikers were walking on the mountain at the time of the eruption but the Department of Conservation said no one was hurt.
Scientists said they could not rule out further eruptions according to scientist Steve Sherburn:
"We may see several more rumbles over the next few days but because nothing happened before this one that told us this was coming, it's very hard to look forward and say we've seen this, therefore there must be another eruption,"
Local media said last week that temperatures were reported to be rising hundreds of metres beneath the volcano, and there was an increased chance of an eruption.
It is the second time this year the volcano has erupted. The last time, in August was the first time in over a hundred years.