Volcanic eruption triggers tsunami in South Pacific

Volcanic eruption in the Pacific: authorities warn of flooding, waves two meters high are reported. the inhabitants flee. They report that it was like “bombs going off”.

The eruption of an underwater volcano in the South Pacific has triggered a tsunami in the region, according to the US Tsunami Warning Center. Tidal waves with a height of about 60 centimeters were measured, the authority said on Saturday. A tsunami warning was issued for all of Tonga on Saturday. The west coast of the United States has also been warned: “Stay away from beaches, harbors and marinas,” the US Weather Service has recommended to coastal residents from California to Alaska.

Local media reported that tidal waves had inundated properties in Tonga. It had rained ashes and the phone connections had failed. According to the media, King Tupou VI of Tonga. brought to safety from the royal palace in the capital Nuku’alofa.

Impressive satellite images show the gigantic eruption on the ocean and its consequences for humans. Watch the video above or here.

The extent of the damage was initially unclear. The Australian Meteorological Authority spoke of a tsunami height of 1.2 meters. Experts have reported two-metre-high waves on Twitter in Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa.

The trigger for the tidal waves is a violent eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai submarine volcano. The volcano had already catapulted ash, steam and gas up to 20 kilometers into the air on Friday. Ash also rained on Nuku’alofa. Another eruption reportedly occurred on Saturday morning, 20 minutes later the tsunami inundated homes, streets and cars in Tonga. Alarm sirens sounded in coastal towns.

“My brother thought the bombs had exploded”

“It was huge, the ground was shaking, our house was shaking,” a resident of the capital told the Stuff news portal. “It came in waves, my younger brother thought there were bombs exploding nearby.” Residents called on people to “pray for us”.

Authorities in other Pacific nations have also issued tsunami warnings, including Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. Residents should avoid the coast “due to strong currents and dangerous waves”, Fiji said. A TV reporter from Fiji posted a video on Twitter showing smaller tidal waves hitting land and people fleeing to safety in their cars. No warnings have been issued for Australia. New Zealand authorities had said they would monitor the situation.

Residents flee to rooftops

People in Tonga have been urged to leave the beaches and head to higher ground. Beach dwellers retreated to their rooftops and filmed large waves hitting their homes.

A warning was first issued for American Samoa, but was later lifted. Based on the available data, it can be assumed that the tsunami danger has passed, but there could still be fluctuations in sea level, he said.

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai has been on and off since December. The volcano lies about 30 kilometers southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou Island (also known as Falcon Island).

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