After a powerful eruption of a volcano on Tonga’s Hunga Ha’apai island, roughly 65 kilometers north of the capital city Nuku’alofa, the country issued another statewide tsunami warning on Saturday afternoon.
The NSW State Emergency Service ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of Lord Howe Island shortly before midnight. According to 9news
There is a “concern of catastrophic land inundation, flooding, deadly rips, waves, and powerful ocean currents,” according to the BoM.
“If you’re on the northern end of the island, go to the corner of Anderson Road and Middle Beach Road; if you’re on the southern end, go to the Golf Club House Carpark.”
On Saturday at 3.10 p.m. AEDT, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga erupted. There have already been reports of tsunami waves.
“Due to the size of these waves, the maritime environment on Australia’s east coast, as well as land on Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island, is under threat; nevertheless, the situation will be continuously monitored, and warnings will be updated as needed,” the BoM stated.
“People in land warning zones should move 1 kilometer inland or to high ground at least 10 meters above sea level,” says the statement.
Marine warning zones do not need evacuation, but individuals are encouraged to abandon the sea and walk away from the water’s edge, according to the bureau.
“Tsunami waves are more strong than beach waves of comparable magnitude. There will be several waves, and the first one may not be the biggest.”
The situation is being closely monitored by Australian officials.
“Tonga is a member of our Pacific family, and our sympathies are with the entire community as it deals with the aftermath of the volcano explosion and tsunami,” the government said in a statement late Saturday.
“The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister are keeping an eye on the situation, and Australia stands ready to assist Tonga if necessary.
“Initial evaluations are still being completed, and DFAT is trying to ensure that Australians in Tonga are safe and secure.
Due to the active volcano, all domestic flights in Tonga were canceled on Saturday.
Meanwhile, due to strong currents and dangerous waves caused by volcanic eruptions in Tonga, the Mineral Resources Department of Fiji has recommended the people, particularly those in low-lying coastal areas, to stay out of the sea and away from the coastline.
Tsunami waves from the volcanic eruptions are affecting the whole Fiji coastline, according to the department.
The Tongan volcano is part of the Tonga-Kermadec Islands volcanic arc, a subduction zone that stretches from New Zealand to Fiji in the north-northeast.