Tonga issues tsunami warning after undersea volcano erupts; no threat to Hawaii

Wellington, New Zealand (AFP) – The Pacific nation of Tonga has issued a tsunami warning after an undersea volcano erupted.

A video recording posted on social media showed large waves washing beaches in coastal areas.

Tonga’s meteorological services said a tsunami warning was in effect across Tonga.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there is no danger of a tsunami in Hawaii.

The eruption was the latest in a series of eruptions from the Hongga Tonga Hung Hapai volcano.

A Twitter user known as Dr. Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau Video showing waves crashing on the beach.

“You can literally hear the eruption of the volcano, it sounds so violent,” he wrote, adding in a later post, “It rains ash and little pebbles, and darkness covers the sky.”

Earlier, the Matangi Tonga news website reported that scientists noticed massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the volcano after it began erupting on Friday.

The site said that satellite images showed a column of ash, steam and gas 5 kilometers wide rising into the air to about 20 kilometers (12 miles).

More than 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) away in New Zealand, officials have warned of storm surge from the eruption.

The National Emergency Management Agency said some parts of New Zealand could expect “strong, unusual currents and unexpected eruptions on shore after a major volcanic eruption”.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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