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Tsunami hits Tonga after giant volcano eruption - [briefly]
09:12 AM EST - Jan,15 2022 - post a comment

Tsunami waves caused by a giant underwater volcanic eruption have hit the Pacific country of Tonga. Social media footage showed water washing through a church and several homes, and witnesses said ash was falling over the capital, Nuku'alofa. A tsunami warning sent residents scrambling to higher ground. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano was heard across the South Pacific, reportedly as far as New Zealand and Australia. Tonga's capital lies just 65km north of the volcano, on the country's main island of Tongatapu. One Tonga resident, Mere Taufa, said the eruption hit as her family was preparing for dinner, and her younger brother thought bombs were exploding nearby. "My first instinct was to take cover under the table, I grabbed my little sister, and screamed at my parents and others in the house to do the same," New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz quoted her as saying. Ms Taufa said the next thing she knew, water was rushing into their home. "You could just hear screams everywhere, people screaming for safety, for everyone to get to higher ground," she added. The plumes of gas, smoke and ash pouring from the volcano reached 20km into the sky, Tonga Geological Services said.

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