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Tsunami warning on the West Coast and Hawaii: Eruption in Tonga | Live updates

Update:
An underwater volcano in the South Pacific has erupted and sparked concern that a massive wave could be heading for the United States. Here's the latest...

Headlines

- An underwater volcano in the South Pacific caused a tsunami which has hit Tonga's largest island, Tongatapu, sending waves flooding into the capital city

- Where is the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano?

- All US tsunami advisories lifted on Sunday

- Pressure wave from the volcanic eruption felt in Jacksonville, California.

- Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, was hit by the waves on Saturday, reports Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

Satellite images show increases in activity around Tonga

As expected, seismic activity has picked up in and around the island nation of Tonga after a major underwater volcano erupted yesterday.

Large volcanic erruption in the Pacific led to tsunami warnings across the West Coast

The powerful eruption of an underwater volcano near the small island nation of Tonga led to countries thousands of miles away to issue their own tsunami warnings. So far there have not been many reports made public about the damage faced by Tonga as the country grapples with the fallout. The unexpected geologic event follows similar stories seen late last year. Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and parts of the US had issued tsunami warnings after the event, but so far none have been reported. Increases in coastal sea surges have been reported but are expected to return to normal in the coming days.

Waves from the Tonga eruption reach Peru

The huge underwater eruption in Tonga has had effects across the Pacific Ocean, with footage from Peru showing instances of flooding as a result of the huge tsunami waves from the volcano. The tsunami alert in the United States has now been removed but nations on the American landmass are still feeling the after-effects of the eruption. 

Footage shows the scale of damage after Tonga volcano

The underwater eruption in the South Pacific on Saturday morning triggered a series of waves and high tide warnings that sent water crashing into the coast of Tonga. The devastating waves caused damage to homes along the nation's coastlines and sent thousands fleeing from the shore. The tsunami warning for the west coast of the United States has been removed.

Guam should avoid the clouds of volcanic ash

The scale of the underwater eruption off the coast of Tonga yesterday took experts by surrise and sent huge waves crashing in the coast of some of Tonga's 169 islands. However another consequence of the eruption was a huge amount of volcanic ash which has covered the surrounding area with a thick blanket. Fortunately for the island's residents, Guam looks likely to avoid the debris. 

Tonga is a moonscape after eruption covers island in ash

Communications with Tonga are still limited after they were knocked out due to damage to power supplies from a nearly four-foot high tsunami that flooded the relatively flat island. Initial reports though paint a picture of significant damage from the intruding water. Ash from the volcano has blanked the island as well contaminating drinking water and posing a threat to air quality. So far no fatalities have been reported.

Tonga tsunami's trek across the Pacific

The colossal eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano on Saturday sent an atmospheric shockwave halfway around the planet and prompted tsunami advisories in countries surrounding the Pacific. Here's a view of the ocean surge as is marched across to Pacific.

Tonga eruption decimates nascent volcanic island

After an eruption in December 2014 a small volcanic island formed around the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai submarine volcano joining the two islands it sits between. Copernicus satelite images show that the eruption on Saturday wiped that nascent strip of land off the map.

US tsunami advisories lifted

All tsunami advisories in the United States have now been lifted, according to the Tsunami Warning Center.

Efforts under way to restore communications with Tonga

Tonga was hit by a meter-high tsunami shortly after the undersea Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano violently erupted on Saturday. As of Sunday evening there were still no official reports of injuries or deaths but communications still haven't been fully re-established with all costal areas.

In the capitol there was extensive flooding including the the Royal Palace and Tonga’s largest bank.

WORLD NEWS

Where is Tonga and how big is the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano that has erupted?

Tonga is a collection of 169 islands in the South Pacific with a combined population of little more than 100,000 people. The vast majority, roughly 70%, of residents live on the main island of Tongatapu.

Read more

Tonga volcanic eruption registered on weather equipment in the UK

The powerful shockwave produced when Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai violently erupted Saturday traveled halfway around the globe. Around seven and a half hours after the volcanic eruption barometers in the UK recorded the atmospheric disturbance it caused.

Copernicus to provide Tonga update "ASAP"

The EU's Copernicus satellite observation programme says it has activated its rapid mapping team to monitor "two areas of interest" following the eruption of an underwater volcano in Tonga.

Satellite view of volcanic eruption near Tonga

The spectacular eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano in the early hours of Saturday prompted tsunami advisory around the Pacific. The eruption was captured by satellite. Here you can see the force of the major eruption that caught the world by surprise.

Tonga volcanic eruption sent shockwave halfway around the world

A few weeks ago, the submarine Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano near Tonga began to show renewed signs of life but didn't seem much of concern. However, on Saturday morning the activity turned inredibly violent with the ashen plume producing hundrends of lightning events per second prior to a colossal explosion.

The sonic boom was heard over 1,300 miles away in New Zeland and the shockwave eventually traveled as far as London, 10,000 miles from the eruption. The eruption produced a tsunami which flooded the capitol of Tonga, Nuku'alofa, and sent smaller waves around the Pacific causing surges as far away as Alaska.

So why was the eruption so violent? National Geographic takes a look.

Chile evacuation

People evacuate the coastline in Vina del Mar, Chile, following a tsunami preventive advisory generated by local authorities on Saturday.

(Photo: REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido)

Footage of volcanic eruption near Tonga

The Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano is spewing gas, steam and black ash 12 miles into the sky. The clouds which are three miles across are producig their own lightning. The eruption is the most violent to be caught by a passing satellite.

Tonga volcano eruption triggers evacuation advisories, metre-high waves in Japan

Hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens were advised to evacuate on Sunday as waves of more than a metre hit coastal areas, public broadcaster NHK reported, after the eruption of an underwater volcano off Tonga triggered tsunami warnings.

Around 230,000 people were advised to evacuate across eight prefectures due to the tsunami risk, NHK reported. The alert included areas hit by the deadly 2011 tsunami.

Ten boats were capsized in Kochi prefecture on Shikoku island in southern Japan, NHK said, and Japan Airlines cancelled 27 flights at airports across the country.

The overnight disruption is causing delays to rail and postal services in some areas, Kyodo News reported, with some residents passing a cold night after evacuating to higher ground.

A red tsunami warning - the second-highest in Japan's domestic scale - for Iwate prefecture in northern Japan was lifted late morning, NHK reported, although a less severe yellow tsunami advisory remains in place along Japan's eastern coast, with authorities continuing to urge caution.

(Reuters)

Why has a tsunami warning been issued in the United States?

Speaking to ABC News Prof. David Tappin, formerly the chief geologist of the Kingdom of Tonga and a tsunami expert, explains why the eruption on a remote island in the South Pacific has sparked tsunami warnings in the United States. He outlines that while there have been some reports of activity in recent weeks the scale of the eruption has been a surprise, catching local authorities off-guard. 

Tonga volcano creates a surge of waves in California

Earlier today the National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for much of the west coast of the United States and we can see the impact of the volcanic activity along the shoreline of California. Residents have been urged to stay away from the sea and practice caution in coastal areas as the tsunami from the South Pacific is expected to cause unpredictable tidal patterns. 

NWS warns that tsunami surges are still possible

Despite the fact that the tidal waters along the eastern coast of the United States are now subsiding, there is still concern that the aftermath of the Tonga volcano eruption could cause danger. The tsunami warning is still in place for much of the US' Pacific coast and coastal surges can still pose a threat to those near to the sea. 

WORLD NEWS

Where is Tonga and how big is the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano that has erupted?

Tonga has a population of little more than 100,000 people, spread across a collection of 169 islands in the South Pacific. However the vast majority, roughly 70% of all residents, live on the main island of Tongatapu, just 40 miles away from the volcanic eruption on Saturday. The tiny volcanic island has sparked tsunami warnings across the continent and as far afield as Canada and Alaska. 

Read more

Tsunami aftershock affects tidal patterns

The National Weather Service (NWS) has outlined how the volcanic eruption in Tonga and resulting tsunami is having an impact on tidal patterns in the United States. The huge force of that initial reaction sent huge waves coursing through the South Pacific and has been evidence in the US, Japan and Canada. 

Tonga volcano is one of the largest in the past decade

"This is a pretty big event - it's one of the more significant eruptions of the last decade at least."

"The most remarkable thing about it is how rapidly and violently it's spread. This one was larger, a much wider lateral spread, much more ash was produced. I expect there to be many centimetres of ash that have been deposited on Tonga."

Prof Shane Cronin, Volcanologist at the University of Auckland
Aerial view of Tonga volcano

Ocean eruption creates volcanic island in the South Pacific

Th eruption of an underwater volcano just off the coast of Tonga has had immediate impacts on the surrounding islands with widespread flooding, tsunami warnings and electrical and internet outages in the aftermath. Aerial imagery shows the massive scale of the explosion which has actually created a sizable volcanic island as the lava meets the sea and cools to form igneous rock. 

Tsunami advisory removed for Alaska

The National Weather Service (NWS) has revoked the tsunami warning for the southeast coast of Alaska. Experts now expect the impact on the Alaskan coast to be fairly moderate, but the NWS still warns that there could be "unusual currents and wave activity" in the area for the next few hours. 

WATCH: Massive underwater volcano in Tonga

Tsunami warning in action in the US

What is a tsunami warning?

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a tsunami warning for the west coast of the United States in the aftermath of a massive underwater volcano off the coast of Tonga. Residents in coastal areas will need to be weary, but what does a tsunami warning actually means?

The NWS says: “Tsunami advisories mean that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is expected or is already occurring. Areas in the advisory should not expect widespread inundation. Tsunamis are a series of waves dangerous many hours after initial arrival time. The first wave may not be the largest.”

Nuku'alofa resident recounts hearing the volcanic explosion

"My first instinct was to take cover under the table, I grabbed my little sister, and screamed at my parents and others in the house to do the same.

"You could just hear screams everywhere, people screaming for safety, for everyone to get to higher ground,"

Mere Taufa, Tonga resident, Reported on Stuff.co.nz

Worrying scenes from Tonga volcano eruptions

Residents on the east coast of the United States have been warned to stay away from coastal areas after an underwater volcano in the South Pacific exploded earlier today, sending huge waves crashing against the Tongan shore. So far only minor flooding has been reported in the United States but more is expected to follow. 

Flooding in California after tsunami warning issued on the west coast

Footage shows some minor flooding in Santa Cruz, California as a result of the eruption of an underwater volcano in the South Pacific. Accordingly the National Weather Service has advised anyone on the east coast to “move off the beach and out of harbors and marinas. Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami. Be alert to instructions from your local emergency officials.”

Tonga volcano explosion footage

This video of the moment an underwater volcano in Tonga exploded shows the huge scale of the incident. Reports also suggest that there have been mass outages for the local electricity and internet grids. 

Tonga volcano causes massive internet outage

New data from network observability company Kentrick shows a huge drop-off in internet traffic from Tonga in the aftermath of the underwater volcano that sparked a tsunami in the South Pacific. 

National Weather Service issues tsunami advice

“If you are located in this coastal area, move off the beach and out of harbors and marinas. Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami. Be alert to instructions from your local emergency officials.”

National Weather Service, NWS warning

Waves from Tonga tsunami reaches Oregon

Footage online purportedly shows the first of the waves from the Tongo tsunami washing up on the shores of the United States, in Neskowin, Oregon. Authorities have already issued tsunami warnings for residents and several local groups have warned residents to stay away from the coast if possible and avoid the sea. 

Tsunami warnings in place for west cost of the United States

Earlier today a tsunami hit Tonga's largest island, Tongatapu, sending waves flooding into the capital after the eruption of an underwater volcano in the South Pacific. The violent eruption is thought to have sent ash and gas steam into the air and sparked the tsunami warning. Authorities in the US and Canada have responded by issuing tsunami warnings. 

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