Tonga hit by Tsunami after volcanic eruption

World Saturday 15/January/2022 12:33 PM
By: DW
Tonga hit by Tsunami after volcanic eruption
An undersea volcano off the coast of Tonga seen erupting in 2009

The Pacific island of Tonga experienced a large volcanic eruption on Saturday followed by a tsunami that flooded parts of the capital, Nuku'alofa.

The surge wave reached a height of 31 inches, according to the New Zealand climate website Harukai Gulf Weather, citing sea level monitoring data. There is no information yet on property damage or casualties. 

Images posted on social media from Tonga showed the tsunami breach the shoreline, and move into the town. 

The US based Pacific tsunami warning center said tsunami waves measuring 2 feet in height were observed by sea-level gauges in the capital of the US territory of American Samoa, around 940 kilometers (580 miles) from Tonga.

Officials there initially issued a tsunami warning, and told residents to "immediately" evacuate to higher ground. The warning was cancelled shortly thereafter.