World Bulletin / News Desk
A New Zealand volcano dormant for more than a century has spewed boulders and spread an ash cloud over the centre of the country, disrupting air traffic but causing no other damage or injuries.
Mount Tongariro, one of three volcanic peaks in the central North Island, roared into life late on Monday night, as craters on the mountain located in a national park near popular hot springs, exploded with bright flashes and thunderous booms.
The spew of rocks, fine particles and steam from the snow-capped, 1,978-m (6,490-ft) peak, was caused by a pressure buildup of volcanic gases, volcanologists said, after seismic activity had increased in recent weeks.
Steve Sherburn, volcanologist at New Zealand's Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, said the scale of the eruption was unexpected, as activity at the volcano had been sporadic before Monday's explosion.
"We haven't had any activity for several days so to go from what we had seen to an eruption last night was a little surprising," he said.
A cloud of ash billowed over the central North Island on Tuesday, blanketing the area with a thick, grey carpet of ash.
Flights to and from provincial destinations, including renowned tourist spot Rotorua, were delayed or cancelled on Tuesday, and local highways were closed for a time, but there were no reports of damage or injury.
Meteorologists said the ash cloud was being blown eastwards towards the Pacific Ocean.
The last time Mount Tongariro erupted was in 1897, ending a decades-long period of intermittent activity, and Sherburn said Monday's explosion could be the start of more such activity in the area.
"At the moment we really don't know, it could just be a singular event, or it could be the start of a period similar to what we've seen historically," he said.
Neighbouring Mount Ruapehu is the most active volcano in New Zealand, last erupting in 2007 when it sent a lahar, or mud slide, down the side of the mountain.
Major eruptions in 1995 and 1996 by Ruapehu resulted in widespread flights disruptions and the closure of ski fields on the mountain.
Abdul Basit Usman reported to have died in 20-minute firefight with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members.
Sunday's attack, by gunmen from different gangs, targeted a police checkpoint in Obaro, inside Punjab
Newspaper reports Sunday said that up to 1,000 people - mostly Muslim Arakan - were at one time held in the camp discovered at a hilltop site near Thailand’s border with Malaysia on Friday.
More than 7,000 people have been killed in Nepal, India and Tibet as emergency services continue rescue operations.
21-year-old South Korean student arrested April 22 while crossing river into North Korea.
Xi, as head of China's ruling Communist Party, will host Taiwan's Chu in the first meeting of its kind since defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Pakistani army has launched airstrikes in restive Khyber Agency tribal region.
The ten were investigated by military and public security departments for spreading rumours on China's Internet forums and mobile messaging apps, the Ministry of National Defence said in a notice on its website.
The UN has said that Nepalese customs need to loosen the tax restrictions so that relief material for survivors can reach them quicker.
Sheikh Imran Abdulla detained and accused of attempting to overthrow regime amid clashes with police, as thousands march on capital
The South Korean was arrested as he was trying enter North Korea from the Chinese said of the Yalu river
HRW says instead of just putting Muslim Rohingya in border camps, country's ruling junta should provide them with safety, protection.
Kerry has been credited in Sri Lanka for his role in pressing for peaceful and inclusive elections, and for calling Rajapaksa on the eve of voting to urge him to respect the outcome.
Gemma Adana turned over from original kidnappers to al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf.
India angered by US report that says religious freedom on decline under current government
The delegation heading to Qatar shows a significant step towards opening formal talks to end the war.