One tsunami has hit the coast of the island of Tonga, in the South Pacific, this Saturday, after registering a violent volcanic eruption. No possible victims have been reported so far.
The large waves have hit houses and buildings located on the beachfront and have quickly flooded the vicinity, according to videos posted on social networks by witnesses who had taken refuge on the roof of their houses.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’Apai phreatomagmatic eruption occurs on an island recently formed by large explosions in late December 2021. The eruptive column is so tall that it collapses under its own weight, forming powerful pyroclastic flows. pic.twitter.com/MPFFYV5sBk
— EarthQuakesTime (@EarthQuakesTime) January 14, 2022
Local authorities have issued a tsunami warning for the whole country after the eruption of the submarine volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai, about 65 kilometers from the island of Tongatapu, the main island of this island nation populated by about 71,000 inhabitants.
According to witnesses, the volcano erupted at 5:20 p.m. local time, sending a huge cloud of ash into the air.
The Tonga Meteorological Service has published a satellite image of the cloud caused by the submarine volcano, which had already shown signs of increasing activity the day before and which also momentarily triggered the tsunami alert.
The authorities have asked the entire population settled on the coasts to go to high areas to shelter from the onslaught of the waves and wear masks before the ash rain.