The Pacific nation of Tonga has issued a tsunami warning after a massive undersea volcanic eruption.
It caused large waves to crash into the island, and islanders living by the coast fled for their lives.
Footage on social media shows people scrambling to get away from the waves and reach higher ground.
Can literally hear the volcano eruption, sounds pretty violent. pic.twitter.com/gX6z2lSJWf— Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau (@sakakimoana) January 15, 2022
One Tongan resident, Mere Taufa, spoke to the New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz and said the eruption hit as her family was preparing for dinner.
“My first instinct was to take cover under the table. I grabbed my little sister and screamed at my parents and others in the house to do the same”.
Taufa said that, suddenly, water started filling her home.
“You could just hear screams everywhere, people screaming for safety, for everyone to get to higher ground,” she said.
Tonga's Hunga Tonga volcano just had one of the most violent volcano eruptions ever captured on satellite. pic.twitter.com/M2D2j52gNn— US StormWatch (@US_Stormwatch) January 15, 2022
Satellite images showed the violent undersea eruption, with data from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center saying waves of 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) had been detected, AP reports.
No casualties or injuries have yet been reported.
Authorities in the nearby island nations of Fiji and Samoa also issued warnings, telling people to avoid the shoreline due to strong currents and dangerous waves.
In New Zealand, which is 1,250 miles away from Tonga, the National Management Agency has warned of “strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore” as a result of the eruption.”
Officials warned of a danger to “swimmers, surfers, people fishing, small boats” and people near the ocean should move inland.
Source: Business Insider
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