Tsunami warning after underwater volcano erupts
The island nation of Tonga is under tsunami warning after a nearby underwater volcano erupted. Tidal waves flooded properties, telephone connections had failed. Dramatic satellite images show the eruption.
DThe eruption of an undersea volcano near the island nation of Tonga has triggered tsunami warnings across much of the Pacific. A tsunami warning was issued for the whole of Tonga on Saturday, according to the local meteorological agency. Local media reported that tidal waves flooded properties on the main island of Tongatapu after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted. It had rained ashes and the phone connections had failed. The extent of the damage was initially unclear late in the evening (local time).
According to the media, King Tupou VI of Tonga. brought to safety from the royal palace in the capital Nuku’alofa. According to the Australian Meteorological Agency, a wave 1.2 meters high was observed in the city. Authorities in other Pacific nations have also issued tsunami warnings, including Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. People have been urged to stay away from coastal areas. The New Zealand military, which is more than 2,300 kilometers from Tonga, said it was on high alert to respond in the event of an emergency.
There were initially no reports of injuries. About 105,000 people live in Tonga. It was difficult to get information from Tonga. Video footage posted on social media shows waves hitting the shore. “I can literally hear the volcano erupt,” wrote one Twitter user who posted the video. He said ashes and stones had fallen.
“The ground shook, the whole house shook. It came in waves. My younger brother thought there were bombs near us,” Mere Taufa, from Tonga, told Stuff. A few minutes later, water entered her house and she saw the wall of a neighboring house collapse.
The US National Weather Service has lifted the tsunami warning for American Samoa. The volcanic eruption caused a tsunami. 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.
The volcano erupted on Friday. According to local authorities, only small tsunami waves of up to 30 centimeters were recorded the day before. Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai has been active since December. The volcano lies about 30 kilometers southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou Island (also known as Falcon Island).