#Video | Tonga suffered enormous damage after an underwater volcano eruption that caused two deaths in Peru and a tsunami alarm in the Pacific
The capital of Tonga suffered significant damage from the tsunami caused by a powerful underwater volcanic eruption in the Pacific, which was felt in a multitude of countries and caused two deaths on a beach in northern Peru due to the waves it caused.
Through images taken from space, it was possible to observe the moment when the last eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano sent a mushroom of smoke and ash into the air and a shock wave through the surrounding sea.
The eruption was felt in numerous countries.
In Peru, two women drowned on a beach in the Lambayeque region (north) due to “anomalous waves” produced after the eruption, reported the local National Emergency Operations Center (COEN).
The Peruvian government had announced on Saturday night that 22 ports on the north and central coasts of the country, facing the Pacific Ocean, were closed preventively, due to “anomalous waves” derived from the eruption.
In Alaska, 10,000 kilometers away, a powerful roar was heard, and in Scotland, at the antipodes of the volcano, the Fife weather station recorded a jump in air pressure due to this phenomenon.
The volcano caused a wave of 1.2 meters in the capital of the Tongan islands, Nuku’alofa, whose inhabitants took refuge in high areas leaving behind flooded houses with structural damage.
“The tsunami has had a significant impact on the northern Nuku’alofa coastline, with boats and large stones washed ashore,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding there was no news so far. of deaths in that country.
“Nuku’alofa is covered in a thick layer of volcanic ash, but conditions are calm and stable,” Ardern added.
“The ash cloud has caused pollution” so Tonga needs water, she explained.
The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, was concerned about the consequences in Tonga and assured that his country “is prepared to provide support to our Pacific neighbors.”
For his part, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that the institution was “willing to help the government and provide aid to the affected people.”
And Unicef was preparing emergency supplies for Tonga, in coordination with Australia and New Zealand.
“It was a massive explosion,” resident Mere Taufa told the news site Stuff that she was at her house preparing dinner. “The ground shook, the whole house was shaking. It was coming in waves,” she recounted.
“We knew right away it was a tsunami, with the water coming into the house,” she added.
The eruption lasted eight minutes, and was so strong it was heard “like distant thunder” in the Fiji Islands, more than 800 km away, officials in Suva, the capital, said.
In Tonga, King Tupou VI was evacuated from the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa and taken by police convoy to a residence far from the coast.
The threat “has passed.
The powerful eruption caused a cascade of alerts throughout the Pacific Ocean: New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, the United States, Japan, Ecuador, Chile, among others, although in most places no major mishaps occurred.
At 0300 GMT, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center sent out a notification to note that “based on available data, the tsunami threat from this volcanic eruption has passed.”
The phenomenon caused a wave of 1.2 meters in the remote Japanese island of Amami and a smaller tsunami in other parts of the coast. At the other end of the Pacific, in Chile, the waves reached between 30 centimeters and one meter.
All the beaches in the country, where thousands of Chileans enjoyed the southern summer, were evacuated while bathers received strident alerts on their phones.
In Ecuador “significant sea level disturbances” of up to half a meter were recorded.
In Australia, authorities said parts of the coastline, including Sydney, could be hit by waves.
The US National Weather Service also issued tsunami warnings for the West Coast, from California to Alaska, predicting waves of up to 60 centimeters, strong currents and coastal flooding. Canada also put the province of British Columbia on alert.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano was located under the sea about 65 kilometers north of the Tongan capital. However, its recent eruptions brought it to the surface and have formed a small island.