Tue. Jan 25th, 2022
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The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano first erupted Friday, sending a plume of ash 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the air, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

A second eruption hit on Saturday at 5:26 p.m. local time, RNZ reported.

Satellite imagery shows a massive ash cloud and shockwaves spreading from the eruption. Waves from the eruption crossed the shoreline of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, flowing onto coastal roads and flooding properties, according to RNZ.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said it recorded a tsunami wave of 1.2 meters (about 4 feet) near Nuku’alofa at 5:30 p.m. local time on Saturday.

The volcano is located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou island, according to RNZ.

In addition to the tsunami warning, Tonga’s Meteorological Services have issued advisories for heavy rain, flash flooding and strong winds in lands and coastal waters.

The nearby island of Fiji has also issued a public advisory asking people living in low lying coastal areas to “move to safety in anticipation of the strong currents and dangerous waves.”

A tsunami advisory remains in place for all coastal waters of Samoa, according to the Samoa Meteorological Service. No evacuation is required, but members of the public are advised to stay away from beach areas, the agency said.

A tsunami advisory has also been issued for coastal areas on the north and east coast of New Zealand’s North Island and the Chatham Islands, where “strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore” are expected, according to New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency.

New Zealand’s official weather service said its weather stations across the country had observed “a pressure surge” on Saturday evening from the eruption.

An earlier tsunami warning issued for American Samoa has since been canceled, according to the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

There is no tsunami threat to Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands from a “distant eruption,” according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The volcano had been active from December 20, but was declared dormant on January 11, according to RNZ.

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