Tsunami waves hit Tonga following eruption as New Zealand issues national advisory

Big waves crashed ashore in Tonga on Saturday after a massive volcanic eruption heard in neighboring countries triggered the second tsunami in the region in as many days.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology wrote on Twitter: “Tsunami wave of 1.2 meters in length was seen in Nuku’alofa.” The maximum wave of the tsunami recorded after the explosion on Friday was 30 centimeters.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s National Emergency Management issued national advice on tsunami activity in the wake of the eruption. The National Emergency Management Agency said some parts of New Zealand could expect “strong, unusual currents and unexpected eruptions on shore after a major volcanic eruption”.

The latest eruption of the Hengga Tonga-Hung Hapai volcano came just hours after the tsunami warning was lifted on Friday.

It lasted at least eight minutes and sent plumes of gas, ash and smoke into the air for several kilometers. Residents in coastal areas were urged to head to higher ground.

Suva officials said the blast was so powerful that it was heard as “loud thunder” in Fiji, more than 800 km away.

Victoria Keough of Tonga’s Public Service Commission said on Friday that people should “keep away from warning areas which are coastal lowland areas, reefs and beaches”.

Taniela Kula, Tonga’s head of geological services, urged people to stay indoors, wear a mask if outside and cover rainwater tanks and rainwater harvesting systems.

Authorities in neighboring Fiji also issued a warning, telling people to avoid the shoreline due to strong currents and dangerous waves.

The islands business news website reported that a convoy of police and military forces evacuated Tonga King Tubu VI from his palace near the beach. He was among the many residents who headed to higher regions.

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano was the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions.

A Twitter user known as Dr. Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau Video showing waves crashing on the beach.

“The eruption can be heard literally, it sounds very violent,” he wrote, adding in a later post: “It rains ash and small pebbles, darkness covers the sky.”

Earlier, Matangi Tonga news website reported that scientists noticed massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the volcano after its eruption began early Friday.

The site said that satellite images showed a column of ash, steam and gas five kilometers wide rising into the air to about 20 kilometers.

Late Saturday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the threat to American Samoa appears to have passed, although slight fluctuations at sea may continue.

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano is located on an uninhabited island about 65 kilometers north of the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa.

With input from Reuters and Associated Press.

Read more:

New 5G launch will affect Boeing 787 landing, FAA warns

Acid rain warning for Tonga after volcanic eruption

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hits Cyprus and was felt in Egypt and Lebanon

Leave a Comment