Large Tonga Volcano Eruption Triggers Pacific Tsunami


By Jahnavi Nidumolu and Renju Jose

Jan 15 (Reuters) – An underwater volcano off Tonga erupted on Saturday, triggering a tsunami warning for a number of South Pacific island nations, with footage on social media displaying waves crashing into properties.

Tsunami waves have been noticed in Tonga’s capital and the capital of American Samoa, a U.S.-based tsunami monitor mentioned.

The eruption at 0410 GMT of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano, positioned about 65 km (40 miles) north of Nuku’alofa, triggered a 1.2-meter (4-ft) tsunami, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology mentioned.

The company mentioned it continued to watch the state of affairs however no tsunami risk had been issued to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

Tsunami waves of two.7 toes (83 cm) have been noticed by gauges at theTongan capital of Nuku’alofa and waves of two ft at Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Middle mentioned.

Fiji issued a tsunami warning, urging residents to keep away from the shorelines “attributable to robust currents and harmful waves.”

Jese Tuisinu, a tv reporter at Fiji One, posted a video on Twitter displaying giant waves washing ashore, with individuals making an attempt to flee from the oncoming waves of their vehicles.

“It’s actually darkish in components of Tonga and persons are speeding to security following the eruption,” he mentioned.

New Zealand’s emergency administration company issued an advisory on tsunami exercise for its north and east coasts with the areas anticipated to expertise robust and strange currents, and unpredictable surges on the shore.

On Friday, the volcano despatched ash, steam and fuel as much as 20 km (12 miles) into the air, Tonga Geological Providers mentioned in a Fb submit. It has a radius of 260 km (160 miles).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Middle in Honolulu mentioned a tsunami advisory stays in impact for the U.S. state of Hawaii, the place tsunami waves have been reported early Saturday morning.

The middle additionally mentioned tsunami advisories are in place for Attu island in western Alaska and alongside the California-Mexico border.

(Reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, and Renju Jose in Sydney; extra reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Enhancing by William Mallard, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Marguerita Choy)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

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