Volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands: tsunami warning on the west coast of the United States, Hawaii hit by minor flooding

“Leave the beaches, ports and marinas” in affected areas, recommends the National Weather Service. In the Tonga Islands, a wave of 1.20 swept the shores causing damage.

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Tsunami warnings were issued for the west coast of the United States on Saturday, January 15, after the eruption of a volcano on Friday in the Tonga archipelago, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, according to the American meteorological services. “Leave the beaches, ports and marinas” in the areas concerned, recommends the National Weather Service, which specifies with “relief” that the American islands of Hawaii reported no damage and suffered only minor submersion.

The states of California, Oregon and Washington could be affected, as well as Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia, specifies the NWS. “The main impacts expected are strong rip currents and flooding of coasts and low-lying areas”, warns the weather service.

Residents of the Tonga Islands fled to higher ground on Saturday as a nearly four-foot tsunami was triggered by a new eruption – heard hundreds of miles away – of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano, located on an uninhabited island of this archipelago. Damage was reported in Tonga, with houses near the coast partially destroyed. The eruption lasted eight minutes and was so loud it was heard “like distant thunder” in the Fiji Islands, more than 800 km away, Fijian authorities said.

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