Nuku’alofa/Bhubaneswar: A Pacific volcano in one of Tonga’s islands that emerged from the sea in 2014 erupted again recently.
The volcano, called Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, began letting off steam on Sunday at around 8.30 pm local time.
The steam could be seen rising 15 km into the air. According to reports, the explosion could be heard 170 km away.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai is an undersea volcano that appeared in 2014 after an eruption. Normally, islands borne out of undersea volcanic eruptions last for a very short time but seven years later, the island is still there.
— Mr Joblington (@joblington) December 22, 2021
Visuals of the eruption have gone viral on social media.
Taking to social media platform Twitter, Simon Proud, a research fellow at Oxford shared a stunning satellite image of the eruption.
“At around 20:30 UTC on 19th Dec, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai #volcano on Tonga erupted, making a volcanic cloud almost 16km high. This breathtaking view of the eruption was taken by Korea’s GeoKompsat weather satellite,” he wrote.
At around 20:30 UTC on 19th Dec, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai #volcano on Tonga erupted, making a volcanic cloud almost 16km high.
This breathtaking view of the eruption was taken by Korea's GeoKompsat weather satellite. pic.twitter.com/JVNmvES4JE
— Simon Proud (@simon_sat) December 20, 2021
According to the United Nations and European Union-run Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, the eruption will not impact nearby populated islands in any significant way.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai is uninhabited and is located 65 km northwest of Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga.