A second volcano in New Zealand has experienced a small eruption just days after Mount Tongariro burst into life for the first time in more than a century.

The volcanic White Island, which is located just off the coast of the North Island, produced “some kind of burp” on Wednesday, although experts do not believe it is related to the earlier eruption.

Craig Miller, of official monitoring body GNS Science told AFP: “The crater-rim camera appears to be splattered with mud/ash this morning, so it seems there has been some kind of burp.”

white island

New Zealand's volcanic White Island (pictured here in 1999) experienced a small eruption on Wednesday

It comes at an uncertain time for residents who live around Mt Tongariro, who have been told the volcano, which was a backdrop to The Lord Of The Rings movies, could erupt again at any point.

Thick grey ash covered the area around the volcano for several miles, and the debris rained down for 30 minutes.

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Volcanologist Michael Rosenberg told Radio New Zealand: "For the moment, things are quiet but it doesn't necessarily mean that the eruption is over and done with.

"It could reactivate at any time so we're watching pretty closely.

volcano

Mount Tongariro erupted for the first time over a century on Monday

"It's possible that this could be the start of a much longer episode, or alternatively it could be the end. We just don't know."

Scientists have recorded increased seismic activity since July, but were taken by surprise by the small-scale eruption, which they believe was driven by steam pressure inside the mountain, rather than molten rock.

The Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management advised residents of five nearby communities to stay indoors and to protect their eyes, mouth and nose if they were caught in volcanic ash.

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Volcanic ash fell on a properties near the base of Mt Tongariro

Mt Tongariro last erupted from November 1896 until October 1897.

Hundreds of travellers have been stranded by the volcanic ash, causing Air Zealand flights to be cancelled.

Locals said no-one had been injured and no property damaged, apart from dirty ash on clothing, buildings and vehicles, but there was a "sulphur" smell in the air.


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  • Lightning is seen within a cloud of volcanic matter as it rises from the erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano April 20, 2010 Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland. A major eruption occurred on April 14, 2010 which has resulted in a plume of volcanic ash being thrown into the atmosphere over parts of Northern Europe. Air traffic has been subject to cancellation or delays, as airspace across parts of Northern Europe has been closed. (Photo by Terje Sorgjerd/Getty Images)

  • Lightning is seen within a cloud of volcanic matter as it rises from the erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano April 20, 2010 Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland. A major eruption occurred on April 14, 2010 which has resulted in a plume of volcanic ash being thrown into the atmosphere over parts of Northern Europe. Air traffic has been subject to cancellation or delays, as airspace across parts of Northern Europe has been closed. (Photo by Terje Sorgjerd/Getty Images)

  • The Eyjafjallajoekull volcano erupting on April 16, 2010 in Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland. The continued eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano has brought closed European airspace for a third day and looking at these incredible pictures it may continue to do so for some time. Full time comet scientist and part time volcano photographer Marco Fulle flew at sunset over the volcano to shoot these incredible images. (Photo by Marco Fulle / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)

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  • The Puyehue volcano in Southern Chile emanates viscous lava and large quantities of ash during its eruption on June 05, 2011 in Cordon del Caulle in Andes Region, Chile. Smaller towns near the epicenter have not been severely hit by the eruption but by a heavy cloud of ashes that is blowing east due to the winds. The Puyehue volcano is 600 km from Chilean Capital city, Santiago, and 90 km from Argentine city, Bariloche. Many Argentine provinces (NeuquÈn, Rio Negro, Chubut, Mendoza, La Pampa, San Luis, San Juan, La Rioja, CÛrdoba and Buenos Aires) have been affected and local airports had to cancel and rearrange flights. It is the first eruption of Puyehue since 1960, after the Valdivia earthquake.(Photo by Ivan Konar/LAtinContent/Getty Images)

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  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A car kicks up a cloud of ash on state highway one after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A general view of Mt Ruapehu from Waiouru after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Local resident Dale Martin helps clean up ash at a friends' property after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A car kicks up a cloud of ash on state highway one after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Plants and rocks are covered in ash after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A sign marks the start of the Desert Road which was closed for several hours after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A sign is displayed at a road block on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing entry road after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A Department of Conservation truck sits at a road block on the Tongariro National Park Ketetahi Road after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A warning sign is displayed at a road block on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing entry road after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A motorist is surrounded by a cloud of ash on state highway one after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Plants and rocks are covered in ash after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A pair of glasses are covered in ash after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: A rugby ball is covered in ash after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Josh Martin, 14, and mother Karen Martin pose while cleaning up a friends' property after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Karen Martin helps clean up ash at a friends' property after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Josh Martin, 14, and mother Karen Martin pose while cleaning up a friends' property after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Dr Jon Procter from Massey University holds an ash sample after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Local resident Dale Martin helps clean up ash at a friends' property after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Dr Jon Procter from Massey University collects an ash sample after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mt Tongariro Erupts

    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 07: Road signs are coated in ash on state highway one after Mt Tongariro erupted for the first time in over 100 years on August 7, 2012 in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Mt Tongariro erupted intermittently from 1855 to 1897. Although not an immediate threat to the community, the latest eruption may be the beginning of weeks, months or even years of volcanic activity. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Mount Tongariro erupted previously around 1895