NewsVolcanic eruption in Tonga: island sends emergency signal -...

Volcanic eruption in Tonga: island sends emergency signal – oil spill off Peru

After the eruption of the underwater volcano off Tonga, there is still uncertainty about the extent of the damage in the Pacific state. An oil spill occurs off Peru.

Update from Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, 6:20 a.m.: Three days after the massive eruption of the submarine volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai in the Pacific, the extent of the damage and the number of possible victims are still unclear. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said there was no contact specifically with the Ha’apai archipelago. After the tsunami triggered by the volcano, there is particular concern about the low-lying islands of Mango and Fonoi. A distress signal was received from Mango.

“Communication continues to be the biggest problem as the internet and international phone lines are still down,” the UN agency said. Satellite phones are the only reliable means of communicating with the outside world, but they don’t always work reliably either. “Overall, there seems to be significant damage to the infrastructure around the main island of Tongatapu.” Many islands are said to be covered by a layer of ash.

Ein Satellitenbild zeigt aschebedeckte Häuser nach dem Vulkanausbruch in Tonga.


A satellite image shows houses covered in ash after the volcanic eruption in Tonga.

New Zealand wanted to send two ships with relief supplies to Tonga on Tuesday. A formal request for help from Tonga is still pending. “The communication problems caused by the outbreak make this disaster relief particularly challenging,” said New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

Oil spill off Peru

Meanwhile, it is reported from Peru that unusually high waves, which are attributed to the volcanic eruption, have led to an oil spill off Peru. That happened when a ship loaded oil into the La Pampilla refinery on Sunday.

Volcanic eruption in Tonga: tremors measurable in Germany

+++ 8.35 p.m .: The pressure wave of the volcanic eruption in front of the South Pacific island state of Tonga has also been recorded by measuring devices from the German Weather Service (DWD) over Germany. As the DWD reported on Monday, after the main explosion on Saturday, the pressure wave was recorded first in the north on Heligoland and later in the south in the Hohenpeissenberg Meteorological Observatory.

A British woman died after the volcano erupted, according to her family. Her husband found the body, the missing woman’s brother told Sky News. The 50-year-old woman was hit by a tidal wave when she tried to save her dogs. Accordingly, the couple had been living in the island state for several years.

In Tonga there is still a lack of clarity about the extent of the damage. The Pacific country was almost completely cut off from the outside world on Monday. Telephone lines are down, an undersea internet cable was damaged in the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano. According to the operator, the repair can take around two weeks. In Australia and New Zealand, additional transport aircraft are available for relief flights to Tonga. Australia’s Development Minister Zed Seselja said a small contingent of Australian police officers stationed in Tonga had provided “rather worrying” reports.

Volcanic eruption turns Tonga into a “lunar landscape” – peak of the eruption could follow

+++ 11.10 a.m .: After the gigantic eruption of the submarine volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai in the South Pacific, large parts of the island kingdom of Tonga are further cut off from the outside world. Whether there were dead or injured is just as unclear as the extent of the damage. According to New Zealand’s High Commissioner in the archipelago, Peter Lund, the capital, Nuku’alofa, lay buried under a layer of ash and looked like a “lunar landscape”. The west coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where many holiday hotels are located, is badly affected.

But it could have been a lot worse. If the volcano had unleashed its destructive power on land, the impact would have been “apocalyptic,” University of Auckland volcanologist Shane Cronin told Radio New Zealand. According to the expert, it was the world’s strongest eruption since the eruption of Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991. It is unclear whether the most recent eruption represents the peak of activity – the volcano may remain restless for weeks or even years.

Ob der Untersee-Vulkan vor Tonga wieder ausbrechen wird, ist Forschenden zufolge unklar.


According to researchers, it is unclear whether the submarine volcano off Tonga will erupt again.

Volcanic eruption off Tonga: military aircraft explore the situation

+++ 7:33 a.m .: Two days after the massive eruption of an undersea volcano near the island kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific, military aircraft from New Zealand and Australia have explored the situation from the air. The extent of the damage in the South Seas archipelago is still unclear.

Communications there continued to be severely impacted Monday, particularly on some of Tonga’s more remote islands, which have not been contacted since the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai erupted. The government there is sending out ships to explore the situation, Radio New Zealand reported on Monday. Tonga has around 170 islands, 36 of which are uninhabited.

Welche Folgen der Ausbruch des Vulkans in der Südsee für die Insel Tonga hat, ist noch nicht bekannt.


According to researchers, it is unclear whether the submarine volcano off Tonga will erupt again.

Tonga: Another eruption of the underwater volcano not confirmed

Update from Monday, January 17th, 2022, 6:20 a.m.: The information from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center warning center about another “large eruption” of the underwater volcano in Tonga was not confirmed by warning centers, as reported by the afp. First it said that two days after the devastating eruption of an underwater volcano in Tonga in the South Pacific, a monitoring station in Australia had detected another “major eruption”. The latest eruption was registered at 22:10 GMT (23:10 CET) Sunday evening, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also said it had detected large waves in the area: “This could be from another explosion from Tonga volcano.” “There are no known earthquakes of any significant magnitude that could produce this wave.”

After the severe eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Saturday, high waves had caused severe damage in the Pacific state of Tonga. Because of broken communication lines, the extent of the devastation in Tonga is not yet apparent. According to the network operator, the internet outage could last for days.

Massive Brandung nach dem Ausbruch eines Unterwasser-Vulkans in der Nähe des Inselreichs Tonga.


Massive surf following the eruption of an underwater volcano near the island kingdom of Tonga.

Tonga: Toxic smoke and ash from volcano become health hazard

+++ 19.00: The eruption of an underwater volcano in Tonga in the South Pacific has caused serious damage to the island nation and triggered a tsunami alarm in several regions of the world. The full extent of the devastation in Tonga was not yet apparent on Sunday due to broken communication lines, and there were initially no reports of injuries or fatalities.

However, in Peru, more than 10,000 kilometers away, two women were drowned by unusually high waves. The Peruvian Center for National Emergency Response blamed volcanic activity in Tonga. The tremors also caused tidal waves in Japan, the United States, New Zealand and several South American Pacific Rim countries.

According to the New Zealand embassy in Tonga, the tsunami primarily damaged the coast north of the capital, Nuku’alofa. Boats and large boulders washed ashore. Nuku’alofa is also covered with a “thick layer of volcanic ash, but otherwise the situation is calm and stable,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.

Tonga: Toxic smoke and ash from volcano become health hazard

+++ 16.05: Due to toxic ash and toxic smoke from the volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, families and children are exposed to health risks, as the children’s charity Save the Children reports. The organization is ready to help those affected by the outbreak and the resulting tsunami, but the communication links have been destroyed, said Fiji official Shairana Ali in Suva. In Tonga, the organization supports educational projects.

The underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai erupted on Saturday. Tsunami warnings have been issued in Tonga and other parts of the Pacific. According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the north side of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, was “severely hit” by a four-foot tidal wave. Ardern announced the equivalent of around 300,000 euros in emergency aid. Australia sent planes to Tonga on Sunday to take aerial photographs to assess the extent of the damage.

Effects of the volcanic eruption in Tonga were felt thousands of miles away. New Zealand, Japan and Fiji registered tsunami waves on their shores. Flooding in the US state of California has been attributed to the outbreak. Tonga itself consists of more than 170 islands, of which only a little more than 30 are inhabited by the approximately 100,000 inhabitants of the kingdom.

Tonga: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupts

Update from Sunday, January 16th, 2022, 7.40 a.m .: The massive eruption of an undersea volcano near the island kingdom of Tonga triggered tidal waves in the Pacific region. Tsunami waves were recorded not only in Tonga, but also in New Zealand, Japan and Fiji. Flooding in Santa Cruz, California, has also been attributed to the outbreak. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Sunday there had been no official reports of injuries or deaths. The USA and the United Nations promised help.

Tonga was covered in volcanic dust as a result of the volcanic eruption, and communication links with the island kingdom in the South Pacific were restricted because an undersea cable was damaged. Local media in Tonga reported an ash shower, flooding of houses and disruption of telephone and electricity connections.

Ardern said authorities are working to restore communications as soon as possible. At the moment one receives “unfortunately not much information from the outer islands (…). Tonga’s water supply is a priority. The New Zealand Defense Forces would attempt to launch a surveillance flight on Monday. Ash was sighted at an altitude of almost 20 kilometers, which is currently making flying unsafe. A naval ship was also put on standby to help if needed.

Tonga volcanic eruption: Tsunami wave hits Japan

+++ 8:38 p.m .: The volcanic eruption in the island state of Tonga triggered a tsunami in Japan. A 1.2 meter high tidal wave was recorded on the remote island of Amami Oshima in the south of the country late on Saturday evening (01/15/2022), the Japanese weather service said. Smaller tidal waves were also registered at several locations along the Pacific coast of Japan.

The weather service issued a warning of waves up to three meters high. The television station NHK called on the residents of the affected coastal areas in a special program to get to higher ground to safety.

Volcanic eruption in the South Pacific: People on Tonga flee from tsunami

+++ 1.30 p.m .: After a volcanic eruption and a tsunami, numerous people fled to higher areas in the island state of Tonga in the South Pacific. “A 1.2 meter high tsunami wave was observed in Nuku’alofa,” the Australian Meteorological Service said on Saturday. As reported by local media, citing local residents, the tidal wave flooded numerous houses in the island’s capital.

The eruption on Saturday lasted eight minutes and was so strong that it could be heard “like a distant rumble of thunder” even in the Fiji Islands more than 800 kilometers away, according to officials from Fiji.

Undersea volcano erupted in the South Pacific – tsunami off Tonga

+++ Update, 11.03 a.m .: Local media reports that tidal waves flooded land on the main island of Tongatapu after the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano. It had rained ash and telephone connections had failed. The extent of the damage was initially unclear.

According to media reports, Tonga’s King Tupou VI. brought to safety from the royal palace in the capital Nuku’alofa. According to the Australian Meteorological Agency, a 1.2 meter high wave was observed in the city. The authorities of other Pacific countries also issued tsunami warnings, including Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. People have been urged to stay away from coastal areas.

Dieses Satellitenbild zeigt den Vulkanausbruch im Inselstaat Tonga.


This satellite image shows the volcanic eruption in the island nation of Tonga.

The US National Weather Service (NOAA) has lifted the tsunami warning for American Samoa. The volcanic eruption led to a tsunami. Based on the available data, it can be assumed that the tsunami danger is over, but that there could still be fluctuations in sea level, it said.

Undersea volcano erupted in the South Pacific – tsunami warning

First message: Nuku’alofa – Because of the eruption of an undersea volcano near the island kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific, the authorities have issued a tsunami warning. The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai threw ash, steam and gas up to 20 kilometers into the air on Friday, the Tonga Geological Survey (TGS) said. People have been urged to stay indoors and wear masks outside. There was no tsunami warning for Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand.

The volcano has been active again and again since December. However, according to TGS, the latest eruption was seven times stronger than the last eruption. The agency also warned of possible acid rain in the region. Initially, only small tsunami waves of up to 30 centimeters were registered, according to the local weather office. The volcano is about 30 kilometers southeast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou Island (also known as Falcon Island). (ktho/lrg/dpa/epd)

List of rubrics: © dpa

Exclusion zone after volcanic eruption in Indonesia: Mount Merapi volcano spews lava and ash

Hundreds of people have had to leave their homes because of a volcanic eruption on the Indonesian island of Java. A restricted zone has been set up around Mount Merapi volcano.

Etna erupts again: Spectacular images show lava fountains and columns of smoke

Etna volcano in Sicily has erupted again. Lava and ash poured out of the crater. A great pillar of smoke rose far into the sky.

Volcanic eruption off Tonga: Drinking water has priority – UN with gloomy prognosis

After the volcanic eruption off Tonga, the extent of the destruction becomes clear. Most people are affected by the disaster - as is agriculture.

Volcanic eruption off Tonga leads to oil spill in Peru: country declares climate emergency

The volcanic eruption in the Pacific off Tonga also hit Peru thousands of kilometers away. Around 6000 barrels pollute the sea and several beaches.

Volcanic eruption off Tonga: Official video shows devastation

The Pacific islands around the main island of Tonga are accessible again after the volcanic eruption. An official video from the consulate shows the dramatic destruction.