Sat, 15 Jan 2022 10:14 PM IST
Hawaii | Jagran World Desk: A massive underwater volcanic eruption was reported in Pacific island nation of Tonga that sent waves several feet high in the island nation while triggering tsunami warnings from Australia to Canada as well as the US West Coast.
The latest eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano came just a few hours after a separate Friday tsunami warning was lifted due to the eruption.
Dramatic images from space showed the moment the eruption sent a mushroom of smoke and ash into the air and a shockwave across the surrounding sea.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said a tsunami wave measuring 1.2 metres (four feet) had been observed at Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa.
Mere Taufa said she was in her house getting ready for dinner when the volcano erupted.
"It was massive, the ground shook, our house was shaking. It came in waves. My younger brother thought bombs were exploding nearby," Taufa told the Stuff news website.
She said water filled their home minutes later and she saw the wall of a neighbouring house collapse.
“We just knew straight away it was a tsunami. Just water gushing into our home. You could just hear screams everywhere, people screaming for safety, for everyone to get to higher ground,” she said.
The initial eruption lasted at least eight minutes and sent plumes of gas, ash and smoke several kilometres into the air.
Residents in coastal areas were urged to head for higher ground.
The eruption was so intense it was heard as "loud thunder sounds" in Fiji more than 800 kilometres (500 miles) away, officials in Suva said.
Fijian officials warned residents to cover water collection tanks in case of acidic rain fall.
Victorina Kioa of the Tonga Public Service Commission said Friday that people should "keep away from areas of warning which are low-lying coastal areas, reefs and beaches".
With inputs from AFP