Tsunami warning issued for Tonga following volcanic eruption


The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano first erupted Friday, sending a plume of ash 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the air, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

A second eruption hit on Saturday at 5:26 p.m. local time, RNZ reported.

Satellite image shows a massive ash cloud and shockwaves spreading from the eruption. Waves from the eruption crossed the shoreline of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, flowing onto coastal roads and flooding properties, according to RNZ.

The volcano is located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou island, according to RNZ.

In addition to the tsunami warming, Tonga’s Meteorological Services have issued advisories for heavy rain, flash flooding and strong winds in lands and coastal waters.

The nearby island of Fiji has also issued a public advisory asking people living in low lying coastal areas to “move to safety in anticipation of the strong currents and dangerous waves.”

An earlier tsunami warning issued for American Samoa has since been canceled, according to the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The volcano had been active from December 20, but was declared dormant on January 11, according to RNZ.



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