Two people drowned by high waves in Peru after eruption.
There are some troubling updates about the island kingdom of Tonga, which was slammed with tsunami waves this weekend after the eruption of a nearby volcano.
And while much of the US West Coast was under a tsunami advisory, the waves that struck generated mostly entertaining videos and minor damage. Unfortunately, conditions on Tonga remain unknown after its internet went down following the arrival of the tsunami.
An underwater volcano that erupted in Tonga was a ‘massive explosion’ that only happens ‘roughly every thousand years’ and was so large it was visible from space.
The explosion triggered a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and sent tsunami waves crashing into the coast of the Pacific island, leaving it covered in ash and cut off from aid.
…Tsunami-hit Tonga remained largely uncontactable on Sunday with telephone and internet links severed, leaving relatives in faraway New Zealand praying for their families on the Pacific islands as casualty reports had yet to come through.
Professor Shane Cronin, from the University of Auckland, is an expert in Tonga eruptions. ‘This is one of the massive explosions the volcano is capable of producing roughly every thousand years,’ he wrote in The Conversation.
Prof Cronin added: ‘We could be in for several weeks or even years of major volcanic unrest from the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano.’
Video captured the sonic wave of the explosion as it hit one of Tonga’s islands.
🚨#BREAKING: New Footage shows a Extremely powerful Sonic Boom from the volcano
Incredible Footage of Hunga Tonga volcano that Produced a Extremely large eruption as it generated powerful Sonic booms that Traveled as far as 470 miles of the fiji islands pic.twitter.com/irMDMesz5Z
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) January 15, 2022
The nearby eruption also sent a thick blanket of ash into the sky, which has contaminated Tonga’s water supplies and initially prevented surveillance flights from assessing the extent of the damage. Australia and New Zealand launched flights to begin aerial damage assessment.
A surveillance flight departed Australia for Tonga on Monday morning to assess damage to critical infrastructure such as roads, ports and powerlines and determine the next phase of the response effort. It was delayed due to the ash cloud blanketing Tonga but eventually took off.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion plane also managed to depart from Auckland on Monday to assess initial damage in the area.
Aid agencies said thick ash and smoke had prompted authorities to ask people to wear masks and drink bottled water.
In a video posted on Facebook, Nightingale Filihia said she was sheltering at her family’s home as volcanic ash and tiny pieces of rock rained down and turned the sky pitch black.
“It’s really bad. They told us to stay indoors and cover our doors and windows because it’s dangerous,” she said. “I felt sorry for the people. Everyone just froze when the explosion happened. We rushed home.” Outside the house, people were seen carrying umbrellas for protection.
Tsunami waves also struck Peru, leading to flooding and killing two people.
More than 20 Peruvian ports were temporarily closed as a precautionary measure amid warnings that the volcano was causing abnormally high waves, Indeci said.
The Peruvian police said on Twitter that the two victims were found dead by officers from a Naylamp beach police station. The tweet said “the waves were abnormal” in the area and that it had been declared unsuitable for bathers.
TV images showed several homes and businesses flooded by seawater in coastal areas in northern and central Peru.
WATCH: Tsunami from volcano eruption in Tonga reaches Peru pic.twitter.com/U9aj9cqGt2
— BNO News (@BNONews) January 16, 2022
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