Tsunami warnings were issued for the entire West Coast of the United States on Saturday following a massive volcanic eruption across the Pacific Ocean in Tonga, with tsunami waves leading to low-level flooding in Hawaii.
The U.S. National Weather Service has issued tsunami warnings from the bottom of California to the tip of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, forecasting waves up to two feet (60 centimeters), strong currents and coastal flooding. .
“Get off the beach and out of the harbors and marinas in these areas,” he warned.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said “a tsunami is currently being observed” in Hawaii, but said there was “no reported damage and only minor flooding around the islands.”
Frightened Tongans fled to higher ground as the eruption sparked a tsunami in the island nation, with a four-foot wave observed in Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa.
Tsunami footage outside Tonga 🇹🇴 this afternoon after the Volcano Eruption. pic.twitter.com/JTIcEdbpGe
– Jese Tuisinu (@JTuisinu) January 15, 2022
Breaking up: A tsunami warning is in place for the island of Tonga following a volcanic eruption. A video shows a possible tsunami wave hitting the island. pic.twitter.com/rCarK7ShD8
– PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) January 15, 2022
Similar warnings have been issued by nations across the Pacific, including New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu and Australia as well as to coastal Chile.
The last eruption of Tonga’s Hunga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga lasted at least eight minutes and sent feathers of gas, ash and smoke several kilometers into the air.
This came just hours after a separate Friday tsunami warning was lifted due to a previous eruption.
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