Eruption in the Pacific: tsunami in the Tonga Islands, the west coast of the United States on alert

Published on 15 Jan. 2022 at 17: 15Updated 15 Jan 65 to 15: 53

The eruption was heard hundreds of kilometers away: this Saturday, the submarine volcano Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai erupted off the Tonga Islands, in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Subsequently, “a 1.15 m tsunami was observed in Nuku’alofa”, the country’s capital, announced the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The previous tsunami had not exceeded 30 cm, and the alert had just been lifted when the volcano again made eruption – he had already woken up on Friday.

The testimonies of inhabitants of the archipelago report tremors felt before seeing the water flooding their house. The human and material toll of the tsunami was not yet known at the end of the afternoon this Saturday, when the inhabitants had taken refuge in the heights after the launch of an alert.

Alert in Chile and the United States

Tsunami warnings have also been issued in other Pacific islands, including New Zealand and Australia. Australian authorities have warned the population of Sydney and its region, New South Wales, to get out of the water and away from the edge.

In Chile, the National Emergency Situations Office has warned of the possibility of a “minor tsunami” reaching Easter Island and other Chilean archipelagos.

🔴 Alert #tsunami: “Dangerous wave on the way” warn the American authorities on the West coast of #United States. The inhabitants must immediately move away from the coast and reach points in height.

Map via NWS Tsunami.

— Kevin Floury (@kevinfloury) January 15, 2022 In the United States, tsunami warnings have been issued for the west coast of the country. “Leave beaches, ports and marinas” in the affected areas, recommended the National Weather Service (NWS), which specifies that the American islands of Hawaii did not report damage and only suffered flooding minors. The states of California, Oregon and Washington could be affected, as well as Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia, specifies the NWS. “The main expected impacts are strong rip currents and flooding of coasts and low-lying areas,” warns the weather service.

The eruption heard at 2022 kilometers

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano is located on one of the uninhabited islands of Tonga, about 65 km from the capital Nuku’alofa . The eruption lasted eight minutes, and was so strong that it was heard “like a sound of distant thunder” over the Fiji Islands, over 800 km away, Fiji officials said.

King Tupou VI of Tonga was evacuated from the royal palace of Nuku’alofa and taken to a villa far from the coast. Authorities have advised residents to stay away from beaches, reefs and flat coastlines and stay indoors as much as possible, wear masks if they have to go out and protect their water supplies from the volcano’s ash.