Tonga after the volcanic eruption and tsunami: “Like the view of the moon” – panorama

The massive eruption of the Hongja-Tonga-Hongga-Hapai volcano near the island of Tonga put many Pacific nations on alert over the weekend and caused a tsunami. 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. Even in Germany Registered meteorologist Explosion blast.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern He said on SundaySo far, there have been no official reports of injuries or deaths. Tonga was covered in volcanic dust as a result of the volcanic eruption, and connection to the island kingdom in the South Pacific was restricted due to damage to one of the undersea cables. There were major blackouts on the island, and cell phones only worked intermittently.

It is clear, however, that the tsunami “had a serious impact” on the capital of Tonga. Boats and rocks drifted ashore and buildings were damaged. The New Zealand Army will attempt to launch a reconnaissance flight on Monday. Flying is currently considered extremely unsafe because the ash was seen at an altitude of approximately 20 kilometers.

covered with volcanic ash

BBC dies Sunday evening quotes Residents of the kingdom said Tonga looked “like a lunar landscape” after being covered in a layer of volcanic ash.

The United States and the United Nations promised assistance. According to Save the Children, a person has gone missing in Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported.

According to the Australian Meteorological Service, the wave that hit Nuku’alofa, the capital of the archipelago, was about 120 centimeters high. the The British BBC reported Citing images from social media, water flows through a church and several apartment buildings in Nuku’alofa. In addition, residents of especially low-lying areas tried to save themselves from the tsunami with their cars. According to media reports, the sixth king of Tonga Tubu. Brought to safety by the royal palace.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres said:He was “extremely concerned”. The United Nations is monitoring the situation closely and is ready to help at any time. city ​​police Anthony Blinken tweeted: “The United States is ready to provide assistance to our Pacific neighbors.”

450 spit holes

Tonga is located on the so-called Ring of Fire, which is formed about 40 thousand km in a circle around the Pacific lake region, where there are 450 spit craters, which is about 75 percent of all known volcanoes around the world. Contiguous tectonic plates push the Pacific lake plate into the Earth’s interior. There the rock warms up and turns into magma.

The volcano has been named Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai, and has been active since December. It is located about 30 kilometers southeast of the island of Fonuafo’ou in Tonga, also known as Falcon Island. Saturday’s eruption was apparently so violent that tremors can also be felt up to 800 km away in the Fiji Islands. A tidal wave arrived there as well, and ash fell.

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Der unterwasservulkan Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai

A Japanese satellite captured these images of the volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean.

(Photo: dpa)

In Japan, the eruption of the Hong Tonga volcano triggered the first tsunami warning since 2016. Since the underwater volcano is located about 8000 kilometers to the south, the Tokyo Meteorological Agency initially had no concerns. But that changed very early Sunday morning. She added that the tsunami waves on the coast of Japan could reach a height of three meters. According to the Office of Fire and Disaster Management, 210,000 people have been asked to leave their homes and go to higher places.

Fukushima was instantly remembered in Japan

Many of those called to safety on Sunday morning suffered from the devastating tsunami on March 11, 2011. This sent waves up to 40.5 metres. 20,000 people were killed in Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. A giant wave caused the collapse of three reactors at the Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear Power Plant. Even for Japan, which was used to earthquakes, it was a shock. That’s why no one underestimated the danger when the Met Office issued its tsunami warning. Late at night, people moved to escape points with signs.

The relief should be greatest when the waves remained relatively low. Amami-Oshima Island, located in the south of the Japanese island chain, recorded an elevation of 1.20 meters, and the city of Koji in Iwate recorded 1.10 meters. The waves stayed below a meter in most places. Some boats capsized in Kochi and Tokushima prefectures. No serious injuries were reported as of Sunday evening. However, this night set a mark: in Japan, nature can strike at any time.

Earthquakes and tsunamis are common around the Pacific lagoon region, and entire tectonic movements are constantly in motion. The Fukushima disaster is as much a result of tectonic activity as the Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated many islands from Thailand to the Philippines in 2004.

Der unterwasservulkan Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai

Forecasters even recorded the pressure wave of the explosion in Germany.

(Foto: New Zealand High Commission / imago images)

Tim Yilmaz, a volcanologist at the University of Munich said.

Yilmaz said that Hong Tonga is also known to have erupted in 1912, 1937, 1988 and as recently as 2014. Undersea eruptions often produce only mud, but this time there was an intense ejection of ash, similar to Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which paralyzed Weather in Europe in 2010. “Not only does the ash increase the cost of kiwis in the supermarket due to disruptions in supply chains, it can also lead to acid rain that destroys agriculture and potentially causes lung damage,” Yilmaz said.

The last natural disaster on the Pacific Ring of Fire was just a month ago. Semeru erupted in Java in Indonesia; More than 30 people died. It remains unclear how many people died when the Hong Kong Tonga explosion erupted. In 2014, during the last eruption, the underwater volcano created a new island.

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