On January 15, after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haapai volcano erupted some 40 miles north of the Pacific country, tsunami waves crashed ashore the coast of Tonga. (Newsflare)

No injuries or fatalities have been reported as of yet. After the primary undersea communications cable was severed, probably due to a loss of electricity, Ardern said officials haven't yet heard from the outer islands and other coastal communities.

When the threat had passed, the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami advisory for Hawaii and the West Coast, which includes Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Early on Saturday, the Washington and Oregon coasts were seeing one to three foot waves, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

Authorities in Chile issued a warning for some residents to avoid beaches, and Ecuador's tsunami alert center stated that it was evaluating the threat.

Japan issued tsunami alerts with the possibility of roughly 10-foot waves for the Amami and Tokara islands across the Pacific. Along the nation's eastern coast, the Japanese Meteorological Agency also issued advisories. These warnings have been removed.

Following the most recent in a string of eruptions of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haapai volcano, which is situated about 40 miles north of Tongatapu, Tonga's main island, video posted on social media showed waves crashing into residences on a shoreline. According to the Tonga Geological Services, it erupted ash, steam, and gas up to 12 kilometers into the air on Friday. According to local media, all domestic flights on Saturday were canceled.

Shane Cronin, a volcanologist at the University of Auckland who has long studied the Tongan volcano, said in an article published on Sunday that research on earlier eruptions suggests "this is one of the massive explosions the volcano is capable of producing roughly every thousand years," though it is still unknown whether Saturday's eruption is the climax. There could be significant volcanic disturbance for weeks or perhaps years.

According to a local news website, geologists had earlier on Friday noticed explosions, thunder, and lightning near the volcano.

Mere Taufa of Tonga reported the eruption's shaking and subsequent flooding to the New Zealand news source Stuff.co.nz.

Taufa described the eruption as "coming in waves, my younger brother feared bombs were exploding close."

Residents struggled to go to higher terrain, which was difficult on the generally flat islands.


The International Tsunami Information Center reports that the island kingdom's capital, Nuku'alofa, which has a population of about 105,000, had a tsunami wave measuring 2.7 feet high. According to Radio New Zealand, the capital was partially under water, and King Tupou VI of Tonga had to leave the palace there.

On some of the several islands that make up the archipelago, where ash was thought to have contaminated the water supply, the authorities provided drinking water to the locals.

On social media on Saturday, Tonga diaspora members complained about communication issues with those back home.

The only gauge in Tonga that measures sea conditions, according to Laura Kong, director of the International Tsunami Information Center, went dark an hour or so after the first waves struck the islands.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne posted on Twitter on Saturday that her country's "thoughts are with the people of #Tonga tonight in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption & tsunami" and that Australia "stands ready to provide support to our Pacific family."

The National Emergency Management Agency issued a warning to stay away from beaches and shorelines in New Zealand, hundreds of kilometers from Tonga.

The group warned that many parts of the country, especially the north and east coast of the North Island, will see "severe and unexpected currents and unpredictable surges at the coastline following a big volcanic eruption."

According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, a four-foot tsunami was brought on by the volcanic eruption in Tonga.
Strong currents and waves also prompted Fiji to issue a warning for locals to stay away from the shore. Following the occurrence of tsunami waves in American Samoa, where locals were advised to stay away from the water, the initial warning was revoked.