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Tsunami observed in American Samoa after Tonga volcano erupts

Saturday, 15 January 2022


An underwater volcano off Tonga erupted on Saturday, triggering a tsunami warning for several South Pacific Island nations, with footage on social media showing waves crashing into homes.

Tsunami waves were observed in Tonga's capital and the capital of American Samoa, reports Reuters citing a US-based tsunami monitor.

The eruption at 0410 GMT of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano, located about 65 km (40 miles) north of Nuku'alofa, caused a 1.2 metre tsunami, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said.

The agency said it continued to monitor the situation but no tsunami threat had been issued to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

Tsunami waves of 2.7 feet (83 cm) were observed by gauges at the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa and waves of 2 ft at Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The US-based monitor later cancelled warnings for the US territory of American Samoa and Hawaii, but said the tsunami remained a threat for parts of the Pacific nearer the volcano.