Energy & Environment

Underground volcano eruption causes ‘tsunami activity’ on Tonga

“Tsunami activity” was detected after an underground volcano eruption near the South Pacific country of Tonga, New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency tweeted on Saturday.

“We have issued a NATIONAL ADVISORY: TSUNAMI ACTIVITY following the Tongan eruption. We expect New Zealand coastal areas on the north and east coast of the North Island and the Chatham Islands to experience strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore,” the agency tweeted.

An evaluation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) U.S. Tsunami Warning Centers also said that “a hazardous tsunami has been generated by volcanic activity in Tonga,” triggering a temporary tsunami advisory for American Samoa by the United States’ Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

A #Tsunami Advisory in effect for American Samoa due to hazardous waves generated by the eruption of a #volcano in Tonga,” the center tweeted.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the capitals of Tonga and American Samoa experienced tsunami waves at 2.7 feet, Reuters reported. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that the 1.2 meter tsunami resulted from the volcanic eruption that was situated about 40 miles north of Tonga’s capital.

The volcanic eruption also triggered a tsunami warning in Fiji, the news outlet noted, and Australia still has a tsunami warning in place.

While the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center canceled its warning about an hour later, a tsunami advisory was later issued Saturday morning for Hawaii. 

“PTWC has issued a Tsunami Advisory for Hawaii.  A tsunami is currently being observed by all Islands’ Emergency Management.  We are relieved that there is no reported damage and only minor flooding through-out the islands. https://tsunami.gov,” Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tweeted.

Washington, Alaska and Oregon were also issued a tsunami advisory by the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Centers, according to The Washington Post.

Updated 9:51 a.m.

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