Tonga: Tsunami advisory in effect for US as waves hit Pacific island following


A tsunami warning has been issued for the islands of Tonga. Tsunami advisories have also been issued for New Zealand’s North Island and the west coast of the United States from California to Alaska, as well as Canada’s British Columbia.

Satellite imagery shows a massive ash cloud and shockwaves spreading from the eruption.

Waves crossed the shoreline of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, on Saturday, flowing onto coastal roads and flooding properties, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

Tonga’s King Tupou VI was evacuated from the Royal Palace after the tsunami flooded the capital, RNZ reported, citing local media reports that a convoy of police and troops rushed the monarch to a villa at Mata Ki Eua.

Residents headed for higher ground, RNZ said, as waves swept the palace grounds, waterfront and main street.

A tsunami has hit Tonga's largest island, Tongatapu.

Ash was falling from the sky in Nuku’alofa on Saturday evening and phone connections were down, RNZ said.

The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano first erupted Friday, sending a plume of ash 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the air, according to RNZ.

A second eruption hit on Saturday at 5:26 p.m. local time, RNZ reported.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said it recorded a tsunami wave of 1.2 meters (about 4 feet) near Nuku’alofa at 5:30 p.m. local time on Saturday.

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

Jese Tuisinu, a television reporter at Fiji One, posted a video on Twitter showing large waves washing ashore, with people trying to escape the incoming water in their vehicles. “It is literally dark in parts of Tonga and people are rushing to safety following the eruption,” he said in another tweet.

The volcano is located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou island, according to RNZ, and about 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Nuku’alofa.

In addition to the tsunami warning, Tonga’s Meteorological Services issued advisories for heavy rain, flash flooding and strong winds in lands and coastal waters.

The nearby island of Fiji also issued a public advisory asking people living in low lying coastal areas to “move to safety in anticipation of the strong currents and dangerous waves.”

A tsunami advisory is also in effect for the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, according to its National Disaster Management Office, with residents advised to move away from the coastline and seek higher ground.

A tsunami watch is in effect for all Samoan low-lying coastal areas, the Samoa Meteorological Service said, with residents and visitors advised to stay away from beach areas.

Warning for US

A tsunami advisory is now in effect for the US west coast including the states of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, according to the NWS National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning tweeted that no damage was reported thus far from the tsunami observed in the Hawaiian Islands.

“A tsunami is currently being observed by all Islands’ Emergency Management. We are relieved that there is no reported damage and only minor flooding throughout the…



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