Tonga Volcano Destroyed After Eruption, Satellite Imagery Shows

Satellite images released on January 18 show the aftermath of the powerful eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that triggered a tsunami on the South Pacific nation of Tonga on January 15.

When compared to satellite images taken in April and December 2021, newly collected images by Maxar Technologies show the destruction of the volcanic island that used to be above water.

Other satellite imagery taken just hours prior to the major eruption on Saturday shows a split on the volcanic island.

The major eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano happened on Saturday evening and triggered tsunami alerts across several South Pacific islands, Australia’s east coast, New Zealand, the US and Japan.

According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, a 1.2-metre tsunami wave was observed at Nuku’alofa at 5.30 pm local time on Saturday. Data from the bureau suggested the shockwave from the eruption travelled at over 1000 km per hour.

The level of damage in the Tongan islands has been difficult to gauge after communication lines were badly severed by the eruption. Credit: ©2022 Maxar Technologies via Storyful

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