Satellite images showed a large submarine volcano eruption early Saturday morning near Tonga.
Wellington, New Zealand — On Saturday, a submarine volcano erupted spectacularly near the Pacific country of Tonga, large waves collided across the coast, and people rushed to high ground.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or extent of damage due to remaining communication problems with the small countries. A video posted on social media showed a large wave swirling around homes and buildings, drifting ashore in coastal areas.
Satellite images are huge ash, steam, and gas eruptions captured from a mushroom-like rising space over the blue Pacific Ocean around 4:20 am (Friday 11:20 pm) on Saturday. Showed an eruption.It almost matches Magnitude 4.0 earthquake Reported 42 miles northwest of Tonga (approximate location of Hunga Tonga Hunga Haapai Volcano).
The New Zealand Army said it was monitoring the situation, was on standby and was ready to assist if requested.
According to the Tonga Meteorological Service, tsunami warnings have been issued in all islands, and data from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center have detected waves of 80 centimeters (2.6 feet).
Authorities in neighboring island nations Fiji and Samoa have also issued warnings, telling people to avoid the coastline due to strong tides and dangerous waves. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, water may be slightly swollen in the coastal areas of Japan, but there is no damage.
An island business news site reported that police and military convoys evacuated Tupou VI in Tonga from a palace near the coast. He was one of the many inhabitants heading to the hills.
The explosion at Hunga Tonga Hunga Haapai Volcano was the latest in a series of epic eruptions.
Twitter user identified as Dr. Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau Post a video showing how the waves land..
“You can literally hear the eruption of a volcano and it sounds pretty violent,” he wrote, adding in a later post: “Rainy ashes and tiny pebbles, darkness covers the sky.”
Earlier, Matangitonga news sites reported that scientists observed large-scale explosions, lightning, and lightning near the volcano after the volcano began to erupt early on Friday. Satellite images show that a 5 km (3 mile) wide plume has risen into the air to about 20 km (12 miles).
More than 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) away in New Zealand, authorities warned of high tides from the eruption.
The National Emergency Management Agency said that in some parts of New Zealand, “strong and anomalous currents and unpredictable surges on the coast after a major volcanic eruption” are expected.
Late Saturday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the threat to American Samoa seemed to be gone, but slight sea variability could continue.
The volcano is about 64 km (40 miles) north of the capital Nuku’alofa. From late 2014 to early 2015, a series of eruptions in the region created a small new island and interrupted international air travel to the Pacific Islands for several days.
About 105,000 people live in Tonga.
Travis Pittman contributed to this report.
Eruption of Tonga’s submarine volcano urges tsunami warning
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