Tsunami hits Tonga after huge volcano erupts

Tsunami hits Tonga after huge volcano erupts

An undersea volcano has erupted near the Pacific nation of Tonga, sending large waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground.

A tsunami advisory was in effect for Hawaii and the US Pacific coast.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of the damage as communications with the small nation remained problematic.

Video posted to social media showed large waves washing ashore in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.

New Zealand’s military said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby to assist if asked. Satellite images showed a huge eruption.

Tonga Meteorological Services said a tsunami warning was in effect for all of Tonga. 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.

Tonga Meteorological Services said a tsunami warning was in effect for all of Tonga. Photograph: AP

As night fell, there were no reports of any damage and the Hawaii-based tsunami centre cancelled the alert.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said there may be a slight swelling of the water along the Japanese coasts, but it was not expected to cause any damage.

The Islands Business news site reported that a convoy of police and military troops had transported Tonga’s King Tupou VI from his palace near the shore as residents headed for higher ground.

The explosion of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano was the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions. A Twitter user identified as Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau posted video showing waves crashing ashore.

“Can literally hear the volcano eruption, sounds pretty violent,” he wrote, adding in a later post: “Raining ash and tiny pebbles, darkness blanketing the sky.” Earlier, the Matangi Tonga news site reported that scientists observed massive explosions, thunder and lightning near the v

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