The first waves of the tsunami caused by the underwater eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano have begun to hit the shoreline of the kingdom of Tonga, a group of islands located in the South Pacific 800 kilometers from the well-known Fiji and Samoa islands. This has been confirmed by the meteorological authorities, without there being any record of victims at the moment. The image of the violent eruption has been captured by a satellite and is one of the most spectacular eruptions ever captured.
The authorities have ordered the populations to immediately leave the coastal areas while the first flood has begun to flood the residences closest to the water.
The ash expelled by the volcano, located about 30 kilometers southeast of the island of Fonuafo’ou, has reached 20 kilometers in height and reached the capital, Nuku’alofa, while more than at least a hundred families have been evacuated in the villages of Palauli and Satupaitea after the impact of a large wave against the beach line.
Tonga’s Hunga Tonga volcano just had one of the most violent volcano eruptions ever captured on satellite. pic.twitter.com/M2D2j52gNn
— US StormWatch (@US_Stormwatch) January 15, 2022
King Tupou VI has been evacuated from the Royal Palace before the flood reached the city. The monarch has been moved to a villa in Mata Ki Eua while residents have made their way to higher ground. The information on Tonga is arriving now with a dropper because Internet access is cut off in the entire area.
Another strong wave has hit the beaches of Vanualevu, in Fiji, where a temporary tsunami alert was issued, as well as for American Samoa, which was finally cancelled.
There, its attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has reported that authorities are monitoring air quality and have ordered the opening of evacuation centers. People should move to higher ground if necessary and avoid the shoreline.
Stay safe everyone 🇹🇴 pic.twitter.com/OhrrxJmXAW
– Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau (@sakakimoana) January 15, 2022