Tonga volcano massive explosion is 'once in 1,000 years' experience

Experts claim the explosion from the Tonga volcano is of a force experienced only once every 1,000 years

When the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted underwater off the coast of Tonga, in the Pacific Ocean yesterday, Saturday, January 15, the explosion was so strong that it was visible from space. An earthquake measuring 7.4 magnitudes on the Richter scale was triggered as a result.
Tsunami waves were sent crashing into the island of Tonga, while volcanic ash rained down on its residents. All telephone and internet connections on Tonga were cut off as well, leaving people isolated. This lack of communication has left it virtually impossible for the outside world to know exactly what is happening there.
Due to the huge cloud of ash hovering above the island, surveillance flights from New Zealand are unable to clarify anything on the ground.
An expert in volcanic eruptions from the University of Auckland – more specifically, those in Tonga – Professor Shane Cronin, commented in his article for The Conversation, “This is one of the massive explosions the volcano is capable of producing roughly every thousand years”.
“We could be in for several weeks, or even years, of major volcanic unrest from the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano”, he added. For the second time in a decade, a new island has reportedly been formed as a result of the eruption.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand said agencies are trying to re-establish communication with the tiny island nation. Ms Ardern commented that she is very much aware of the fact that Tonga has so far avoided the Covid pandemic.
Fully-vaccinated military operatives are ready and waiting if needed, she said, who will follow any protocols laid out by the government of Tonga.
Coastal areas of the US were hit by waves, Port San Luis recorded some as large as 4.1ft. Other places including Alaska, Oregon, California, Washington, and British Colombia, experienced tsunami-like waves.
In northern Peru, a truck with three occupants was dragged into the sea at Naylamp beach, Lambayeque, by a two-metres high wave. The driver managed to escape, but his wife and another woman drowned. Authorities in the South American country have reported they are monitoring ‘abnormal waves’ along its coastline, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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