Under tsunami advisory, volcano erupts under sea in Pacific, west coast
– World Affairs SRS
There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of damage as communications with the small island nation remained closed for hours after the explosion.
In Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported hitting waves ranging from half a meter (one foot) to 80 centimeters (2.7 ft) in Nawaliwili, Kauai in Hanalei.
Describing the situation in Hawaii, the center said, “We are relieved that there has been no damage and only minor flooding has occurred throughout the islands.”
In Tonga, videos posted on social media showed large waves rolling around homes and buildings in coastal areas.
The New Zealand military said it was monitoring the situation and was on standby, ready to assist if asked.
Satellite images show a massive explosion, a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom over blue Pacific waters.
Tonga Meteorological Services said a tsunami warning had been declared for all of the archipelago, and data from the Pacific Tsunami Center showed waves of 80 cm (2.7 ft) were detected.
Dave Snyder, tsunami warning coordinator for the National Tsunami Warning Center, said in Hawaii, Alaska and along the US Pacific Coast, residents were told to move to higher ground away from the coast and heed specific instructions from their local emergency management officials. . Palmer, Alaska.
We don’t issue an advisory for this length of beach because we haven’t. I’m not sure when was the last time but it’s not really an everyday experience, he said. I hope it adds importance and seriousness to our citizens.
He said the waves already slamming the coast in Hawaii were under the criteria for a more severe tsunami warning, with Hanalei and Maui measuring 80 cm (2.7 ft). Waves of about 91 cm (3 ft) or more will trigger the warning. Snyder said they are currently expecting waves of 30 cm (1 ft) to 61 cm (2 ft) along the Pacific coast.
Snyder said residents of these areas should expect waves and strong and unusual currents for several hours and there could be some low-lying areas that could be submerged, such as marinas and harbors.
The important point here is that the first wave may not be the biggest. We can watch this play for several hours, he said. It seems that everything will remain below the warning level, but it is difficult to predict because it is a volcanic eruption and we are ready to measure earthquakes or seismic sea waves.
Residents of American Samoa were alerted by local broadcasters to tsunami warnings as well as church bells throughout the region. An external siren warning system was out of service. People living along the shoreline quickly moved to higher places.
As night went on, there were no reports of any damage and the Tsunami Center in Hawaii canceled the alert.
Officials in the nearby island nations of Fiji and Samoa also issued warnings, asking people to avoid shorelines due to strong currents and dangerous waves. The Japan Meteorological Agency said there could be slight swelling in the waters off the Japanese coast, but no damage is expected.
The island business news site reported that a convoy of police and military soldiers escorted King Taupo VI of Tonga from his palace near the shore. He was among the many residents who headed to the higher ground.
Hunga Tonga The eruption of the Hunga Haapai volcano was the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions.
A Twitter user identified as Dr Faka’ilotonga Toumofolou posted a video of the waves crashing into the sea.
Can literally hear the eruption of the volcano, sounds very violent, he wrote in a later post: rain ash and small pebbles, the sky darkened.
Earlier, the Matangi Tonga news site reported that scientists saw massive eruptions, thunder and lightning after the volcano erupted early on Friday. The satellite image shows a 5 km (3 mi) wide plume rising about 20 km (12 mi) into the air.
More than 2,300 km (1,400 mi) away in New Zealand, officials were warning of a storm surge from the eruption.
The National Emergency Management Agency said that parts of New Zealand can expect strong and unusual currents and unexpected surges along the coast after a large volcanic eruption.
The volcano is located approximately 64 km (40 mi) north of the capital Nuku’alofa. In late 2014 and early 2015, a series of eruptions in the area created a small new island and disrupted international air travel to the Pacific Islands for several days.
Tonga is home to approximately 105,000 people.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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