An eruption at Mt Tongariro, a volcano near the Ketetahi Hot Springs on North Island, New Zealand, has caused roads to close and flights may be disrupted.
The eruption prompted a potential threat warning to be issued for much of central North Island, New Zealand.
The volcanic activity occurred on Monday, on the northern side of the mountain, near the Te Mari Craters.
In the first eruption for more than a century, a thick ash cloud is covering much of central North Island. Witnesses have reported seeing "flame-like explosions", red hot rocks being thrown into the air, lightning, and they heard loud explosions.
Media reports state that the volcanic alert level has risen from 1 to 2, and the aviation color code has been raised to red.
New Zealand Civil Defense warned the eruption could pose a threat to the Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu-Wanganui, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki regions.
Flights are likely to be disrupted and roads are closed. Residents living nearby have been advised to stay indoors, as rock and ash is spewing from the mountain.
Video: Volcanic ash on the road.