Tsunami Alert Raised in Tonga After Undersea Volcano Explosion

A tsunami warning was raised after an undersea volcano eruption in Tonga.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano was seen from outer space by the Himawari satellite sending plumes up to 12 miles (20 kilometers) into the air.

The National Tsunami Warning Centre sent a tsunami marine warning for Tongatapu, Ha’apai, and southern Tonga but canceled it by 10 AM local time.

The US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that there were 2.7 feet surges in Nukualofa but there were no reported injuries or property damage.

A tsunami warning was also raised for nearby Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania, as well as Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Macquarie Islands.

Sulphuric vapors were reported in Tongatapu and Ha’apai and government offices closed while flights were grounded.

Tonga Geological Services (TGS) has warned citizens to stay away from the sea despite the warning cancellation and to avoid inhaling volcanic ash.

“Strange oceans and nearshore turbulence were seen in the shores of Ha’apai and Tongatapu islands. These are caused by volcanic eruption and these dynamic currents can cause chaos if one tries to sail or swim in it. It is advised that the public stays out of the water until the volcanic eruption until further notice,” said the TGS.


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