Tongariro erupts

June 1870:

The Evening Post of the 9th says “On the 2nd instant Dr. Hector received a telegram from Mr. Park, the telegraphist at Runanga, informing him that Tongariro had been ‘in a state of active eruption for some days, and that the red glare was visible from Runanga Mountain, and also from Tapuaeharuru, at the north end of Taupo Lake. Yesterday evening he received a further telegram, stating that the flame is increasing, and that a sound like thunder is distinctly heard at Tapuaeharuru, and occasionally even at Runanga, which is situated 50 miles in a direct line from Tongariro.

The telegram states that there are two points of eruption one at the top, and the other on one side of the mountain, by which is meant, no doubt, not Tongariro proper, but the more recent and lofty cone Ngauruhoe. Dr. Hector informs us that in January last there appears to have been a discharge of hot ashes, which melted the snow where they fell off the slopes of Ruapehu, and that in October a red glow was observed to be reflected from the clouds overhanging the cone. In 1867 the natives told him that in the month of May in that year flames were seen to issue from Ngauruhoe, attended by an eruption of ashes which reached as far north as Henemaia, or 35 miles in a straight line, covering the ground with a white dust, like snow.

The last marked eruption, attended by loud noises, which the natives reported, was in 1865, when the Taupo district, and even the water of the lake, were covered with several inches of black dust. The showers of ashes that on this occasion fell into the Rotoaira, a small lake between the volcano and Taupo, were so dense as to poison the fish. Judging from the above information, the present eruption appears to too more violent than any of the above-mentioned, and may, perhaps, be attended with a discharge of lava, which has never previously bean observed in connection with this volcano.”
TONGARIRO IN ERUPTION. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXVI, Issue 4000, 17 June 1870, Page 4

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