A tsunami has struck Tonga sending terrified locals fleeing for high ground as huge waves crashed into homes and volcanic ash rained down on residents, as people were warned to get out of the water as far away as Fiji.

An underground volcanic eruption was confirmed as the cause of the tsunami, which began to smash coastal homes, buildings, roads and infrastructure in Tonga on Saturday. 

Dramatic footage showed huge waves surging ashore on the populated islands of the Tongan archipelago hours after the eruption.

The Tongan Meteorological Service issued the tsunami warning on Saturday evening as sirens rang out across the capital, Nukuʻalofa.

There were also reports of volcanic ash falling in Nukuʻalofa.

A tsunami has struck Tonga sending terrified locals fleeing for high ground as huge waves crashed over roads and into homes

A tsunami has struck Tonga sending terrified locals fleeing for high ground as huge waves crashed over roads and into homes

A tsunami has struck Tonga sending terrified locals fleeing for high ground as huge waves crashed over roads and into homes

Locals took to social media to share dramatic videos of the surging waves making land and crashing through homes and cars

Locals took to social media to share dramatic videos of the surging waves making land and crashing through homes and cars

Locals had little warnings as the huge waves came ashore

Locals had little warnings as the huge waves came ashore

Locals took to social media to share dramatic videos of the surging waves making land and crashing through homes and cars

Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcanco erupted

Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcanco erupted

Dramatic official aerial maps showed the eruption cloud over Tonga after the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcanco erupted

Reports said emergency warnings were ordering locals to move urgently to higher ground. 

The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcanco erupted on Friday sending debris, ash and gas 20 kilometres into the air.

The eruption plunged the nation’s main islands into darkness on Friday.

It is located about 30 kilometres south-east of Fonuafo’ou island in Tonga. 

The eruption also led to official warnings for Fiji and American Samoa, which are 804 and 936 kilometres away from Tonga.

In Fiji the Mineral Resources Department warned people to ‘stay out of the water and away from beaches’.

 

More to come 

Source: Daily Mail

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