Satellite images show a massive ash cloud and shock waves spreading from the eruption.
A tsunami warning has been issued for the Tonga Islands. Tsunami warnings have also been issued as far away as New Zealand’s North Island.
Waves crossed the coastline of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, on Saturday, rolling on coastal roads and inundating property, according to CNN’s Radio New Zealand (RNZ).
RNZ, citing local media reports, reported that a convoy of police and troops rushed the king to a villa in Mata Ki Iwa, the sixth King of Tonga Tubu was evacuated from the royal palace.
RNZ said residents headed to higher ground as waves swept across the palace grounds, waterfront and main street.
RNZ said ash was falling from the sky in Nuku’alofa on Saturday evening and the phone was lost.
The Hunga-Tonga-Hongga-Hapai volcano erupted for the first time on Friday, sending a plume of ash 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the air, according to RNZ.
A second eruption struck Saturday at 5:26 p.m. local time, RNZ reports.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said it recorded a 1.2-meter (about 4 feet) high tsunami near Nuku’alofa at 5:30 p.m. local time on Saturday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves reached 2.7 feet (83 cm) by gauges in Nuku’alofa and waves as high as two feet in Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, according to Reuters.
The volcano is located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) southeast of the island of Funuafu in Tonga, according to RNZ.
In addition to the tsunami warning, Tonga’s meteorological services have issued warnings of heavy rain, flash floods and strong winds in land and coastal waters.
The nearby island of Fiji has also issued a general advice asking people living in low-lying coastal areas to “go to safety in anticipation of strong currents and dangerous waves”.
The Samoa Meteorological Service said a tsunami watch is in effect for all low-lying coastal areas of Samoa. “All people living in low-lying coastal areas are advised to stay away from beach areas,” the agency said, and the public should refrain from visiting coastal areas.
A tsunami warning has also been issued for coastal areas on the north and east coast of New Zealand’s North Island and the Chatham Islands, where “strong and unusual currents and sudden onshore eruptions” are expected, according to New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency. .
The official New Zealand Met Office said its weather stations across the country had noticed a “pressure rise” on Saturday night from the eruption.
A previous tsunami warning issued for American Samoa has since been rescinded, according to the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, there is no risk of a tsunami for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands from a “long-range eruption.”
The volcano was active as of December 20, but was declared dormant on January 11, according to RNZ.
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