Watch: Satellite Video Of Massive Volcanic Eruption In Tonga



The first blast lasted at least eight minutes and sent a lot of air

Nuku’alofa, Tonga:

Terrified Tongan residents fled the highlands on Saturday after a massive volcanic eruption – heard in neighboring countries – triggered a second tsunami in the region in several days.

“The 1.2-meter-high tsunami has been observed in Nukualofa,” Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology tweeted. The largest tsunami recorded after Friday’s blast was 30 inches.

The recent eruption of Mount Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai occurred just hours after Friday when the tsunami warning was lifted.

Mere Taufa said he was at his house preparing dinner when the volcano erupted.

“It was huge, the ground shook, our house shook. It came in waves. My younger brother thought the bombs were about to explode nearby,” Taufa told Stuff’s website.

He said water flooded their house a few minutes later and he saw the walls of a nearby house collapsing.

“We just knew it was a tsunami. As soon as the water entered our house.

“You just hear every scream, people screaming for safety, for everyone to get to the top.”

The king of Tonga, Tupou VI, is said to have been transferred to the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa and taken by a police force to a village on the coast.

The first explosion lasted at least eight minutes and sent air, ash and smoke several miles into the air. Residents of coastal areas were encouraged to move to higher ground.

The blast was so severe that it sounded like a “loud thunder” in Fiji more than 800 kilometers (500 kilometers) away, Suva officials said.

There, authorities warned people to close their water tanks if the ashes fell.

Victorina Kioa of the Tonga Public Service Commission said on Friday that people should “avoid warning areas located along the coast, on rocks and beaches”.

Tonga Geological Services Director Taaniela Kula encouraged residents to stay indoors, wear masks when outdoors and cover stormwater drains and stormwater drainage systems.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a “tsunami alert” in American Samoa, citing the risk of “sea turmoil and strong sea currents that could be dangerous along the coast”.

Similar warnings have been issued by the New Zealand and Fiji authorities.

Mount Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai is located on a remote island about 40 miles (40 miles) north of the Tonga capital Nuku’alofa.

(With the exception of the headline, this article was not edited by staff at NDTV and was published from affiliated groups.)

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