The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, however; no tsunami alert was issued. The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor on Saturday.
Friday’s eruption on Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha ‘, one of Tonga’s uninhabited islands, showed spectacular views from space: a huge mushroom filled with smoke and ash, and a wave soon followed.
The eruption lasted for eight minutes and was so strong that it sounded like “distant thunder” over the islands of Fiji, more than 800 km away, officials in the capital, Suva, where images shared on social media were heavily displayed. The waves are hitting the shore.
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the volcano, about 65 kilometers from the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa, created a 1.20-meter tsunami there.
In Japan, the remote island of Amami Oshima was hit by a 1.20-meter wave at 11:55 pm local time (GMT 2:55 pm) on Saturday. The tsunami alert was issued and the National Weather Service warned of a possible three-meter high tidal wave.
“It was a huge explosion,” Mere Taufa, a Tongan resident who was at home at the time, told the Stuff News site.
“The earth shook, the whole house shook. It came in waves. Our younger brother thought bombs were exploding near our house, ”she said. A few minutes later, water entered their house, and she saw the wall of a nearby house collapse.
The king of Tonga was evacuated
“We immediately knew it was a tsunami, this water was flowing into the house. You could hear screams all around and everyone started fleeing to higher ground,” she added.
The king of Tonga, Tupu VI, was evacuated from the palace of Nuku’alofa and taken to a villa off the coast.
Victorina Kiova of the Tonga Public Utilities Commission called on the public to “stay away from dangerous places, beaches, dunes and all flat shores.”
Authorities advised the entire population to stay indoors as much as possible, wear masks when going out, and maintain all water supplies there as well.
Tsunami warnings have been issued for Fiji and Samoa, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Chile and Australia, where officials have warned they could hit the coast, including Sydney.
In Chile, tsunami warnings were issued for Coquimbo (mid-north) and Las Rios and Las Lagos (south), where the waves exceed one meter. Elsewhere, there are differences between 30 cm and one meter. The National Emergency Office also warned that a “small tsunami” could hit Easter Island.
In Ecuador, authorities have recommended that coastal operations be suspended until 5 pm local time (2200 GMT) and 3 pm (2100 GMT) on the Galapagos Sea level rise above Santa Cruz Island by 50 cm. 50 cm above the same level on many beaches in the mainland.
“Leave the Beaches”
In the United States, tsunami warnings were issued for the west coast of the country. Hawaii, an American archipelago in the North Pacific, has already been affected by “minor floods”.
The National Weather Service recommended “leaving beaches, seaports and marinas” in the affected areas, stating that the Hawaiian Islands did not report damage with “relief”.
The NWS said the states of California, Oregon and Washington, as well as Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia, could also be affected.
“The main forecast effects are strong fissure currents and flooding of coastal and inland areas,” the Meteorological Service warned.