An underwater volcano erupted near the island nation of Tonga last weekend. Tonga is located between New Zealand and South America in the South Pacific Ocean near Fiji.
Last Saturday, the volcanic eruption stirred up tsunami warnings in the USA and Chile, among other places. On the other side of the ocean, the Japanese National Meteorological Agency feared waves of up to 3 metres. In Peru, two women died from the high waves generated by the volcanic eruption.
Volcanic eruption on Tonga: A tsunami was of immediate concern
The Australian Meteorological Office reported that very weekend that a 1,20 metre high tsunami was observed in Nuku'alofa, the capital of the Tonga Islands. A resident of the archipelago tells the news site Stuff:
The ground shook, the whole house was shaken. It came in waves. My younger brother thought bombs were going off near our house.
Help from neighbouring countries
Shortly after the first shock, the larger neighbouring countries Australia and New Zealand have sent aid and reconnaissance flights. These sent back pictures of the volcanic eruption that look terrifying: A huge ash cloud rose into the sky, the people of Tonga have described their homeland as a moonscape since the volcanic eruption.