Powerful tsunami waves sweep Tonga’s shoreline after underground volcano erupts

Powerful waves have pummelled the coastline of the pacific island nation of Tonga overnight after an underground volcano sparked a tsunami.

The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano, which is located around 30 kilometres southeast of Fonuafo’ou island, first erupted just after 3.00 pm.

It saw ash, gas and debris burst several kilometres into the air, before large waves started hitting the coast.


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A second eruption was recorded just before 5.30 pm prompting waves up to 1.2 metres to flow onto low lying coastal areas.

 

According to local reports, Tonga’s King Tupou V had to be evacuated from the Royal Palace after the capital flooded.

While coastal residents headed for higher ground while ash continued falling from the sky and phone connections went down.

There are no reports of fatalities just yet, while damages will be evaluated throughout the day on Sunday.

Satellite imagery was also recorded of the first eruption.

The eruption prompted warnings and alerts across the pacific, including for Australia and the United States.

Related article: Marine Tsunami Warning issued for Gold Coast waters