Concerns are growing for the Pacific island of Tonga after a tsunami with waves more than a meter high washed over the island. Internet service has been disrupted, so the full extent of the damage remains unknown. An underwater volcanic eruption on Saturday triggered tsunami warnings across the Pacific Rim.
The massive volcanic eruption sent shockwaves across the South Pacific. It triggered tsunami warnings in multiple countries including New Zealand, Japan, Peru and even as far the West Coast of the US. People are being urged to stay away from shores and evacuate to higher grounds. So far there have been no reported casualties.
The underwater eruption was so powerful that it was detected around the world. Satellite images show gas and ash being thrown thousands of meters into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Communication links to Tonga have been damaged, but the capital of Tonga has sustained significant damage, says New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
People in New Zealand said they received no warning of the tsunami, even though the volcano’s explosion could be heard in some parts of the country.
Many were still out on the water on their boats, which have suffered severe damage.
Japan was also put on high alert. Thousands evacuated their homes, moving to shelters to stay safe.
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