Tsunami en Tonga

SAN FRANCISCO.- An underwater volcano in front of Tonga erupted today and prompted a warning of tsunami for several South Pacific Island countries. Shortly after it happened, they began to circulate on social networks images showing waves crashing against houses and satellites in space that captured the moment of the natural phenomenon.

In the capital of Tonga and the capital of American Samoa, giant waves that brought panic to the affected areas, according to a US-based tsunami monitor. There the citizens began to run desperately to avoid a major catastrophe.

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai submarine volcano, located about 65 kilometers north of Nukuʻalofa, was responsible for the 1.2-meter tsunami, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.

For your part several alerts were issued for the west coast of the United States, while Hawaii was affected by “minor flooding” after the eruption. “Come out of the beaches, harbors and marinas” on coasts from California (west) to Alaska, said the US National Weather Service, which predicted waves of up to 60 centimeters, strong currents and coastal flooding.

Gauges observed tsunami waves of 83 centimeters in the Tongan capital Nukuʻalofa and waves of 60 centimeters in Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Tsunami en TongaEMOSI KERESONI – @Emosi Keresoni

Fiji also issued a tsunami warning, urging residents to avoid shorelines “due to strong currents and dangerous waves.” Jese Tuisinu, a television reporter for Fiji One, posted a video showing large waves reaching the shore, with people trying to run from the approaching water on their cars. “It’s literally dark in parts of Tonga and people are rushing to safety after the eruption,” he said.

New Zealand’s emergency management agency issued an advisory about tsunami activity on its north and east coasts. and areas are expected to experience unusual strong currents and unpredictable shore surges.

On Friday, the volcano sent ash, steam and gas up to 20 kilometers into the air, the Geological Survey of Tonga said in a Facebook post. It has a radius of 260 kilometers.

AFP and Reuters agencies

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