As if to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its last major outburst, on September 18, 1995, Ruapehu sprang unexpectedly from repose to violent activity. Over the next few weeks a white plume billowed to over ten kilometres above the mountain, raining black showers of ash across most of the North Island and disrupting air and ground traffic. On the night of October 11, with most of the water from the crater lake exhausted , molten magma fountained from the crater for several hours. Shafts of lightening cracked through the base of the dense ash cloud every few seconds. Fire had come to the mountain again.