F.E.S.A. in Savai'i evacuates villagers

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 15 January 2022, 8:31PM

Fire and Emergency Service Authority (F.E.S.A.) officers in Savai'i have begun evacuating villagers on the southeast coast of Samoa's second island after the Samoa Meteorological Service (MET) issued a tsunami advisory. 

The MET issued tsunami advisory remains effective for all Samoa coastal waters and in an update posted on its Facebook page at around 8pm (Samoa Time) advised that the advisory will remain effective for the next 30 minutes. 

Facebook videos that were live-streamed in Palauli and Satupa'itea in Savai'i on Saturday night showed unusual wave activity with people standing on the roadside watching instead of moving to higher ground.

With sirens from F.E.S.A. and police vehicles, the authorities managed to disperse the crowd of people standing on roadside looking out to the ocean.

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 warning 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. 

• This is a developing story.....

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 15 January 2022, 8:31PM
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