'Mount Doom' Neighbor Erupts

New Zealand's Mount Tongariro blows its top

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 21, 2012 6:08 AM CST

(Newser) – Mount Tongariro, a neighbor of the New Zealand volcano used as "Mount Doom" in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, erupted today, the Australian reports. No significant damage was reported, and dozens of hikers—including schoolchildren—who were on trails near the mountain's base are safe. But flights have been canceled, and more could be affected; some had worried that could impact next week's world premiere of The Hobbit. Tongariro National Park was the backdrop for quite a few LOTR scenes, the AP notes.

In this photo released by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) smoke billowing out of Te Maari crater on Mount Tongariro, New Zealand after a brief eruption Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
In this photo released by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) smoke billowing out of Te Maari crater on Mount Tongariro, New Zealand after a brief eruption Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.   ((AP Photo/GNS))
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