Samoa's MET issues tsunami advisory

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 15 January 2022, 7:49PM

The Samoa Meteorological Service (M.E.T.) has issued a tsunami advisory hours after waves crashed into seaside residences in Tonga following a violent volcanic eruption. 

The M.E.T. issued the tsunami advisory at around 7.30pm on Saturday night (Samoa Time) in a post on its official Facebook page.

“Tsunami Advisory is enforced for Samoa due to the Volcanic eruption in Tonga at 5:26 pm (Local time) Saturday 15th January 2022…” reads the Facebook post. “(Next bulletin will be issued in the next 15 minutes).”

Video footage from Tonga shared on social media showed waves crashing into homes on the coast of Tonga on Saturday evening, not long after a tsunami warning was announced for all of Tonga.

The tsunami advisory followed a violent eruption at the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai underwater volcano with ashes and plums engulfing the coast of Nuku’alofa. 

Images shared on social media also showed ashfall and rocks raining down in Tongatapu from the eruption on Saturday afternoon. There are reports of sirens ringing across Nuku'alofa with police asking people to move to higher ground. 

The volcano is located about 30 kilometres south-east of Fonuafo'ou island in Tonga and has been erupting intermittently since December. Last month a powerful explosion could be heard from 170 kilometers away. The eruption reportedly sent a tall ash cloud up to 15,000 kilometers in altitude. The uninhabited island is globally known for its recent series of island-forming and expanding eruptions. 

A spokesman for New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency confirmed to Stuff News at 7pm that there is no tsunami threat to New Zealand.

Jese Tuisinu, a reporter for Fijian broadcaster Fiji One, posted a video on Twitter showing it was “dark” in parts of Tonga and said people were “rushing to safety” following the eruption. The U.S Emergency Alert Twitter page stated a “hazardous” tsunami had been generated by volcanic activity in Tonga, and monitoring was underway to evaluate the threat.

• This is a developing story....

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 15 January 2022, 7:49PM
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