A MAGNITUDE 6.2 earthquake has struck about 136.1 miles northwest of Pangai, Tonga. The earthquake was at a depth of 14.5 km, the USGS said.
A MAGNITUDE 6.2 earthquake has struck about 136.1 miles northwest of Pangai, Tonga.
The earthquake was at a depth of 14.5 km, the USGS said.
Damaged buildings following volcanic eruption and tsunami in Nomuka, Tonga, January 17[/caption]
Pictures showing parts of Tonga before and after the first eruption and tsunami[/caption]
The extent of the devastation is slowly beginning to emerge[/caption]
It comes just weeks after tremors destroyed homes – and a tsunami killed a British animal charity worker.
Satellite photographs show once lush green parts of Tonga turned brown and houses flattened.
The government of Tonga described the nation as suffering an “unprecedented disaster”.
New Zealand air force images also show areas blanketed with ash and damaged buildings.
Tongan diplomat Curtis Tu’ihalangingie described the damage as “alarming” and said he feared more deaths.
“Possibly there will be more deaths and we just pray that is not the case,” he said.
Video has also emerged showing the powerful tsunami waves washing ashore, tearing down fences as people flee for their lives.
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According to the Tonga government around 50 people live on Mango and so far 65-year-old woman living there has been confirmed dead.
It comes as the body of the missing British charity worker Angela Glover, 50, was discovered by her husband James.
An operation is underway to clear Tonga’s airport runway of volcanic ash so relief flights carrying vital supplies such as sanitation kits can be delivered.
Australia’s Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja said its police had visited beaches and reported significant damage with “houses thrown around”.
The Haatafu Beach Resort, on the Hihifo peninsula, 13 miles west of the capital Nukualofa, was completely wiped out, the owners said on Facebook.
The family that manages the resort had run for their lives through the bush to escape the tsunami, it said.
The whole western coastline has been completely destroyed along with Kanukupolu village, the resort said.
Other before and after images show the island of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai has completely disappeared following the volcanic eruption.
The main island Tongatapu has been heavily affected, with water damage being visible to the northern and southern sides.
The volcano which last erupted in 2014, has also caused damage to the islands of Uoleva and Nomuka.
Early data suggests the eruption was the biggest since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, New Zealand-based volcanologist Shane Cronin told Radio New Zealand.
DEATH TOLL FEARS
“Further volcanic activity cannot be ruled out,” the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in the update today.
It added that the official assessments have not been released yet as the communications have been badly hit.
Two more people have drowned at the coast of Peru after the tsunami sparked high waves.
The impact of the eruption was felt as far away as Fiji, New Zealand, the United States and Japan.
Aid workers have warned 80,000 of Tonga’s residents could be affected.
The Red Cross said it was mobilising its network to respond to what it called the worst volcanic eruption the Pacific has experienced in decades.
An image taken on December 8, compared to one taken on January 16, shows the damage caused by the eruption[/caption]
A satellite image taken in April 2020 and an image taken after the volcano eruption shows the area covered in volcanic ash[/caption]
The island of Tongatapu has been severely damaged[/caption]
The volcano last erupted in 2014[/caption]
Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga[/caption]