In the United States, tsunami warnings have been issued for the west coast of the country, Hawaii having already been affected by “minor floods”. “Leave the beaches, ports and marinas” in the affected areas, recommends the National Weather Service, which specifies with “relief” that the American islands of Hawaii did not report damage and only suffered flooding minors.
The states of California, Oregon and Washington could be affected, as well as Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia, specifies the NWS.
“The main expected impacts are strong rip currents and flooding of coasts and low-lying areas,” warns the weather service.
In Tonga, residents flee tsunami after volcano erupts
Save who can in the Tonga Islands where the inhabitants fled Saturday towards the heights to escape the tsunami caused by a spectacular eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which put the United States, Chile and Japan on tsunami alert.
Striking views taken from space showed the moment of the eruption where the volcano released a cloud of smoke and ash, as well as the wave immediately kicking around in the ocean.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano is on one of the uninhabited islands of Tonga, about 65 km from the country’s capital Nuku’alofa where the eruption on Friday caused a 1.20 m tsunami, according to the Australian office. of meteorology.
The previous tsunami had not exceeded 30 cm. And the alert had just been lifted when the volcano erupted again.
“It was a massive explosion,” resident Mere Taufa, who was at home at the time, told the Stuff news site.
“The ground shook, the whole house shook. It was coming in waves. My younger brother thought bombs were going off near our house,” she said.
A few minutes later, the water invaded their house, and she saw the wall of a nearby house crumble.
The evacuated king
“We knew straight away it was a tsunami, with this water gushing into the house. You could hear screams all around, and everyone started fleeing to higher ground,” she added. .
King Tupou VI of Tonga was evacuated from the royal palace of Nuku’alofa and taken to a villa far from the coast.
The eruption lasted eight minutes, and was so loud it was heard “like a distant thunderous sound” over the Fiji Islands, more than 800 km away, Fiji officials said.
They also warned residents to cover water supplies to protect them from acid rain or ash.
Victorina Kioa, of the Tonga Public Utilities Commission, called on people to “get away from all places that are at risk, that is beaches, reefs and all flat coasts”.
The authorities have also advised the entire population to stay indoors as much as possible, to wear masks if they have to go out and, there too, to protect all water supplies.
Tsunami warnings have also been issued for Fiji and Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
Australian authorities have warned people in Sydney and surrounding New South Wales to “get out of the water, and stay away from the water’s edge”.
In Chile, the National Emergency Situations Office has warned of the possibility of a “minor tsunami” reaching Easter Island and other Chilean archipelagos.
“As a precautionary measure, in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, the San Félix Islands, Easter Island and Chilean Antarctica it is requested, due to the eruption of a volcano in the Tonga Islands, to leave the areas of beaches where a minor tsunami could intervene,” said Onemi.