An undersea volcano has erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga, sending large waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground
There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of the damage as communications with the small nation remained problematic. Video posted to social media showed large waves washing ashore in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.
New Zealand’s military said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby, ready to assist if asked.
Satellite images showed a huge eruption. The Tonga Meteorological Services said a tsunami warning was in effect for all of Tonga, and data from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center showed waves of 80 センチメートル (2.6 足) had been detected.
Authorities in the nearby island nations of Fiji and Samoa also issued warnings, telling people to avoid the shoreline due to strong currents and dangerous waves.
The Islands Business news site reported that a convoy of police and military troops evacuated Tonga’s King Tupou VI from his palace near the shore. He was among the many residents who headed for higher ground.
The explosion of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano was the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions.
A ツイッター user identified as Dr. Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau posted video showing waves crashing ashore.
“Can literally hear the volcano eruption, sounds pretty violent," 彼が書きました, adding in a later post: “Raining ash and tiny pebbles, darkness blanketing the sky.”
ついさっき, the Matangi Tonga news site reported that scientists observed massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the volcano after it started erupting early Friday.
The site said satellite images showed a 5-kilometer (3 マイル) -wide plume of ash, steam and gas rising up into the air to about 20 キロメートル (12 マイル).
より多い 2,300 キロメートル (1,400 マイル) away in New Zealand, officials were warning of storm surges from the eruption.
The National Emergency Management Agency said some parts of New Zealand could expect “strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore following a large volcanic eruption.”
土曜日遅く, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the threat to アメリカ領サモア appeared to have passed, although minor sea fluctuations could continue.
The volcano is located about 64 キロメートル (40 マイル) north of the capital, Nuku’alofa. Back in late 2014 そして早い段階で 2015, a series of eruptions in the area created a small new island and disrupted international air travel to the Pacific archipelago for several days.
Tonga is home to about 105,000 人.