Tongans flee for their lives as powerful tsunami destroys island nation after underwater volcano in South Pacific erupts, sending smoke 20km into the sky
- Tonga hit by tsunami waves after submarine volcano erupted
- Dramatic video showed huge waves pounding houses and buildings
- Tongan Meteorological Service warned locals to seek high ground
A tsunami has hit Tonga, causing terrified local residents to flee to higher elevations as huge waves slammed over cars, roads and homes, raining volcanic ash on residents.
An underground volcanic eruption was confirmed as the cause of the tsunami, which began destroying coastal homes, buildings, roads and infrastructure in the Pacific on Saturday.
The eruption also triggered tsunami warnings for Fiji and American Samoa, which are 804 and 936 kilometers from Tonga.
Dramatic images showed huge waves crashing into the populated islands of the Tongan archipelago hours after the eruption.
The Tongan Meteorological Service issued the tsunami warning on Saturday night as sirens blared in the capital Nuku’alofa.
There were also reports of volcanic ash falling into Nuku’alofa.
A tsunami has hit Tonga, causing terrified local residents to flee to higher ground as huge waves crashed over roads and into homes
Locals took to social media to share dramatic videos of the rising waves making land and crashing through houses and cars
Dramatic official sky maps showed eruption cloud over Tonga after Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted
Reports said emergency warnings instructed locals to move to higher areas urgently.
The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted Friday, sending debris, ash and gas 20 kilometers into the air.
The eruption on Friday plunged the country’s main islands into darkness.
It is located about 30 kilometers southeast of the island of Fonuafo’ou in Tonga.
More to come