Wednesday, January 26, 2022

American Samoa, Tonga witness tsunami after volcanic eruption

An underwater volcano near Tonga erupted on Saturday, triggering a tsunami warning for several South Pacific island nations, with footage on social media showing waves crashing into homes.

The US-based Tsunami Monitor said tsunami waves were seen in the capital of Tonga and the capital of American Samoa.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano, located about 65 kilometers north of Nuku’alofa, erupted at 0410 GMT on Saturday, causing a tsunami of 1.2 meters. The eruption of the same volcano on Friday caused a small tsunami of 30 cm.

The agency said it was continuing to monitor the situation, but no tsunami threat has been issued to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a 61-centimeter tsunami wave was seen by gauges in Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa.

The US-based monitor later canceled the warning for the US territory of American Samoa.

The eruption of the volcano can be heard in Fiji more than 800 kilometers from Tonga. Officials there issued a tsunami warning, urging residents to avoid the shoreline “due to strong currents and dangerous waves”.

Jesse Tuisinu, a television reporter from Fiji Forest, posted a video on Twitter of huge waves washing down the shore, with people in their cars trying to run away from the oncoming waves. “It is really dark in some parts of Tonga and people are running to safer places after the explosion,” he said.

New Zealand’s Emergency Management Agency issued an advisory on tsunami activity for its northern and eastern coasts, with areas expected to experience strong and unusual currents and unexpected surges off the coast.

Tonga Geological Services said in a Facebook post that on Friday the volcano sent ash, steam and gas up to 20 kilometers into the air. Its radius is 260 km.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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