The 'Lord of the Rings' volcano in New Zealand may be coming back to life

Mount Ruapehu erupts in April 2007. Photo: Ross Land/ Getty Images.

New Zealand authorities are warning hikers to avoid Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand after the volcano has shown signs of life.

Mt Ruapehu, which is in the North Island’s Tongariro National Park, was used as a set in “The Lord of The Rings” movies, but has not erupted since 2007.

Quake and volcano monitoring service GNS Science raised the alert for the volcano after crater lake temperatures rose 20C.

The Department of Conservation warned trekkers to stay out of the Summit Hazard Zone, within two kilometres of the centre of Crater Lake.

No ski areas, other facilities or roads on Ruapehu or elsewhere in Tongariro National Park are affected by this warning.

This morning, “strong” earthquakes have been recorded in the lower North Island.

Despite this, and other wild weather being reported in the area, volcanologist Brad Scott says it has nothing to do with the volcano activity.

“It’s got nothing to do with weather. And White Island, they’re [volcanoes] all independent of each other,” he told the NZ Herald.

Scott says the activity is caused by molten lava getting trapped inside the volcano itself.

The NZ Herald has more.

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