Aug. 7 - A film of ash covers New Zealand's North Island as volcanologists say Mount Tongariro's eruption caught them off guard. Lindsey Parietti reports.
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Ash blankets New Zealand.
Mount Tongariro made a surprise eruption after laying dormant for more than a century.
Experts said a pressure build-up of volcanic gasses caused the volcano to spew rocks and steam Monday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) VOLCANOLOGIST, BRAD SCOTT SAYING:
"The eruption itself gave us no warning whatsoever, it just snuck up on us, and if further hydrothermal-driven eruptions occur they could well be the same."
Unlike a lava eruption, this volcanic activity was driven by steam.
Although the eruption had subsided by Tuesday, area flights were cancelled or delayed as clouds of ash lingered over the North Island.
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