Home Politics Volcano in island nation of Tonga triggers tsunami in South Pacific

Volcano in island nation of Tonga triggers tsunami in South Pacific

Volcano in island nation of Tonga triggers tsunami in South Pacific

The eruption of a submarine volcano near the island nation of Tonga has prompted tsunami warnings across much of the Pacific. A tsunami warning was issued for all of Tonga on Saturday, according to the local weather agency. Local media said tidal waves inundated properties on the main island of Tongatapu after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted. It had rained ash and telephone connections had failed. The extent of the damage was initially unclear late in the evening (local time). According to media reports, Tonga’s King Tupou VI. brought to safety from the royal palace in the capital Nuku’alofa. According to the Australian Meteorological Agency, a 1.2 meter high wave was observed in the city. The authorities of other Pacific countries also issued tsunami warnings, including Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. People have been urged to stay away from coastal areas. All flights in Tonga have been canceled, according to news site Matangi Tonga. The US National Weather Service (NOAA) has lifted the tsunami warning for American Samoa. The volcanic eruption led to a tsunami. Based on the available data, it can be assumed that the tsunami danger is over, but that there could still be fluctuations in sea level, it said. The volcano erupted on Friday. The Tonga Geological Survey (TGS) said it threw ash, steam and gas up to 20 kilometers into the air on Friday. According to local authorities, only small tsunami waves of up to 30 centimeters were registered the day before. The volcano has been active on and off since 2009. However, the latest eruption was seven times stronger than the previous eruption, according to TGS. The volcano is about 30 kilometers southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou Island (also known as Falcon Island). Several satellites filmed the explosion on Saturday. Volcanic eruption near Tonga Satellite images from January 15th

Animation: Jens Giesel / Source: JMA

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