Volcanic alert raised for Mount Ngauruhoe after 40 year slumberNEW ZEALAND – GNS Science has increased the volcanic alert level for Mount Ngauruhoe after an increase in the number of earthquakes around the volcano. Duty volcanologist Art Jolly said the change at Ngauruhoe indicated the volcano had entered a state of minor volcanic unrest prompting the alert level to be lifted from zero to one. During the past three weeks there has been an increase in the number and magnitude of earthquakes recorded by the GeoNet seismographs around Mt Ngauruhoe. Swarms of earthquakes around Ngauruhoe have been recorded in the past, most recently in December 2014. Jolly said it was “more likely than not” the unrest would not result in an eruption in the short term. GNS Science would continue to monitor the volcano closely. Initial analysis indicates the earthquakes around the volcano were shallow, occurring at depths of less than about 5kms. The last major eruption at Ngauruhoe was in 1975, although earthquakes near the volcano are not unusual. FULL REPORT