In Pictures: Tonga volcano eruption triggers tsunami alerts
Satellite images showed a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom above the Pacific waters.
A harbour official pulls debris from rising waters out of Santa Cruz harbour in California. [Nic Coury/AP Photo]
16 Jan 2022
A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered tsunami waves around the world reportedly caused significant damage to the island nation’s capital and smothered it in dust.
The full extent of the destruction in the Pacific country was not apparent with communications still cut off on Sunday.
The eruption on Saturday was so powerful it was recorded around the globe, triggering waves as high as 1.74 metres (5.5 feet) that flooded Pacific coastlines from Japan to the United States.
Dramatic satellite images showed the long, rumbling eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano spew smoke and ash in the air.
A sonic boom could be heard as far away as the US state of Alaska 10,000km (6,000 miles) away.
The waves caused damage to boats as far away as New Zealand and Santa Cruz, California, but did not appear to cause any widespread damage.
People evacuate the coastline in Chile following a tsunami advisory in Vina del Mar. [Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters]
A couple looks at a damaged boat in a marina at Tutukaka, New Zealand. An undersea volcano erupted in spectacular fashion Saturday near the Pacific nation of Tonga, sending tsunami waves crashing across shores and people rushing to higher ground. [Tanya White/Northern Advocate/NZME/AP Photo]
An image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency, shows an undersea volcano eruption in the Pacific nation of Tonga. [NICT via AP Photo]
People evacuate the coastline in Chile following a tsunami warning. [Alejandro/Reuters]
Locals watch the ocean to see if it rises after a volcanic eruption near Tonga generated a tsunami in Puerto Ayora on the Santa Cruz island of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. [Santiago Arcos/Reuters]
Residents evacuate to high ground after a tsunami warning was issued for coastal towns in Iwate prefecture in northeastern Japan after an underwater volcano eruption off the island of Tonga. [Kyodo/via Reuters]
People look at a damaged boat in a marina at Tutukaka, New Zealand after waves from a volcano eruption swept in. [Tanya White/Northern Advocate/NZME via AP Photo]
An undersea volcano erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday. [Nic Coury/AP Photo]
An empty beach after the evacuation from the coastline in Chile. [Alejandro Pizarro/Reuters]