11/21/2012 05:03 pm ET Updated Nov 22, 2012

Mount Tongariro Erupts: New Zealand Volcano Eruption Filmed By Teacher (VIDEO)

A teacher at a New Zealand intermediate school captured amazing video of Mount Tongariro erupting on Nov. 21.

According to, Lomi Schaumkel was with a group of 90 students near Katetahi hot springs, less than a mile from the eruption, when it started at about 1:20 p.m. local time.

The video shows a massive plume of ash spewing from the mountain, which was used as a backdrop for the "Lord of the Rings" films. Students can be heard panicking on the video, but someone reassures them that they are safe. Six parents and four teachers from Tamatea Intermediate Schoolwere with the group, and everyone got back safely, Schaumkel said.

Paul Lowes, another teacher, said one of the students pointed out the volcano was erupting.

"It just started very slowly, and grew into a rather large cloud," Lowes said. The eruption lasted about 5 minutes, and its plume rose 3 to 4 kilometers (about 2 miles) high, ONE News reports.

According to the New Zealand Herald, local roads were closed in the vicinity of the mountain, which is located within a national park near the center of New Zealand's north island.

Steve Sherburn, a senior volcano geophysicist with New Zealand's GNS, told ONE News that there were no warning signs before the eruption.

"One of the key things is there was absolutely no warning of this. The seismic stations we have monitoring Tongariro showed no activity before the eruption at all," Sherburn said. Further eruptions are anticipated.

This isn't the first time Mount Tongariro has erupted this year. In August, the volcano erupted for the first time since 1897.



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