Authored by Middle-earth News contributor Martin Burrows.
In a curious mashup of fandoms, geologists in the home of movie Middle-earth have declared, “She cannie take it, she’s gonna blow!” about Mount Doom itself.
Mount Ruapehu, which doubled for Mount Doom in some shots of the Lord of the Rings movies, has been experiencing increased activity lately–enough for the New Zealand Department of Conservation to impose a Summit Hazard Zone 2km away from the peak.
According to Harry Keys, a Department of Conservation volcanic risk manager, “The current situation can’t continue. Ruapehu is so active that the temperatures have been going up and down a lot.
“They generally haven’t gone up as we’ve expected for some weeks now and sooner or later that situation will be rectified, either in a small, relatively passive way, or with a significant eruption.”
With the situation likely to resolve “in weeks rather than months,” there have been concerns raised as to what impact such an eruption could have on the forthcoming premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. With memories of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 and its effect on European air travel in mind, there are some professional worriers in Wellington wondering if their best laid plans for the premiere will be foiled.
While it remains a possibility that there may be an effect on air travel if Mount Mount Ruapehu did erupt before the premiere, surely the bigger concern for those whose homes, communities, and livelihoods may be at risk once the inevitable eruption comes in the next few weeks?
Hollywood may not think it at times, but some things are more important than movies after all.