New Zealand geyser erupts, shooting water into the air
A geyser shot water high into the air from New Zealand's Lake Rotorua early on Monday morning, panicking some local residents.
The eruptions at about 04:30 (15:30 GMT Sunday) woke people living in Ohinemutu, in New Zealand's North Island.
Reports said the water reached heights of between seven and 30m (23-98ft).
The area is known for geothermal activity, but the location and size of the geyser is unusually large.
The Rotorua Lakes Council said a build-up of steam and pressure caused the eruption, according to Radio New Zealand.
Locals reported hearing a series of loud thuds, followed by a spraying sound.
In a video on Facebook, Ohinemutu resident Lani Kereopa said she initially saw nothing unusual from her window "and then another one happened and I saw water spraying up out of the lake".
"I panicked, ran downstairs to wake everybody up to say "get out of the house, get out of the pa, the village is erupting".
While geysers of this reported size and location are unusual, the area is famous for geothermal activity, drawing tourists to what Visit Rotorua describes as "its spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and colourful sinter terraces".
One geyser in the area spurted back to life for the first time in decades last year, but experts quoted in local media said large eruptions were more common in the 1960s.
Rotorua Lakes Council Geothermal Inspector Peter Brownbridge told Radio New Zealand it was akin to a cap being blown off a shaken bottle of fizzy drink.
"It must have been quite powerful to throw up a big column of water as it did, but it's nothing for people to be concerned about," he said.
It is thought that while eruptions may present a small risk to people on the lake, local residents are not in significant danger.
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