Earthquake strikes off Tonga’s coast days after volcanic eruption

Earthquake strikes off Tonga’s coast days after volcanic eruption

January 28, 2022   11:41 am

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has been recorded off the coast of Tonga almost two weeks after the Pacific kingdom was devastated by a volcanic eruption and tsunami.

The epicentre was located 219km (136 miles) northwest of Pangai, a town on the remote island of Lifuka, at a depth of 14.5km (9 miles), according to United States Geological Survey (USGS) data.

There have been no immediate reports of damage but communication is limited after the earlier eruption severed the main underwater cable connecting Tonga to the world.

The area has seen daily earthquake activity since the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano erupted on January 15, killing three people and sending a tsunami across the wider Pacific.

The volcanic event, the biggest since Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, released a huge ash cloud that blanketed the Pacific island nation and prevented surveillance to determine the extent of the damage.

There are an estimated one million undersea volcanoes that, like continental volcanoes, are located near the Earth’s tectonic plates where they form.

According to the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration group, about “three-quarters of all volcanic activity on Earth actually occurs underwater”.

In 2015, the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai spewed so many large rocks and ash into the air that it led to the formation of a new island.

On December 20 and then on January 13, the volcano erupted again, creating ash clouds that could be seen from the Tonga island Tongatapu.

On January 15, the massive eruption triggered a tsunami around the Pacific, in a process whose origins are still debated among scientists.

Satellite images showed a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom above the blue Pacific waters, with a sonic boom heard as far away as Alaska.

In Tonga, it sent tsunami waves crashing across the shore, forcing people to rush to higher ground.

Source: Al Jazeera

Disclaimer: All the comments will be moderated by the AD editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or slanderous. Please avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment and avoid typing all capitalized comments. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by flagging them(mouse over a comment and click the flag icon on the right side). Do use these forums to voice your opinions and create healthy discourse.

Most Viewed Video Stories

Tune in at 6.55pm for Ada Derana main news bulletin on TV Derana

Tune in at 6.55pm for Ada Derana main news bulletin on TV Derana

Another diesel shipment reaches the island

'Manudam Mehewara'relief programme in Matara

Musical event at the Galle Face protest site

450 kg of Kerala cannabis seized

GCE Ordinary Level examinations to commence tomorrow

Anura Kumara claims more opposition MPs likely to join interim govt

Farmers in dire straits over shortage of fuel in Sri Lanka