Undersea volcano eruption triggered tsunami warnings

The Geological Survey of Tonga, on Friday morning local time, warned the public that a volcanic eruption was imminent, after volcanic ash, steam and gas were detected through satellite images. A tsunami warning has been issued.

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Then at the end of Saturday afternoon local time, a second eruption occurred. Then volcanic ash and smoke covered the sky, plunging the Kingdom of Tonga into darkness. The volcano is said to have released ash about 20 kilometers into the air. The eruption has been described as one of the most violent eruptions captured by satellites.

The residents of the capital are suffering

Shortly after the second eruption, a tsunami wave about 1.2 meters high was recorded near Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

This caused major flooding in the residential areas of Nuku’alofa. Water entered buildings and homes as residents sought refuge on higher ground.

Other Tsunami Warnings

At about 7:30 pm, a tsunami warning was issued for American Samoa, asking residents to evacuate to higher ground immediately. Fortunately, the warning did not last long and was lifted shortly after it was issued.

Fiji has also issued a general advice asking people living in low-lying coastal areas to “get to safety in anticipation of strong currents and dangerous waves”.

The Vanuatu Meteorological and Geographical Hazards Department also issued a tsunami advisory report, which was still pending at the time of writing. The organization also confirmed that the volcanic eruption caused a 7.6-magnitude earthquake on Saturday. The Department of Meteorology and Vanuatu urged residents to stay away from coastal areas and head to higher ground.

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More pictures to come.

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