A TSUNAMI has slammed California with huge 4ft waves amid evacuation warnings in the US, Japan and Australia after a large underwater volcano erupted off the coast of Tonga.
It comes as 2.7ft high waves sweep through the streets of the Pacific nation as locals scramble to higher ground following the “violent” eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha volcano ‘apai.
Officials said the eruption was so intense that “loud thunder” could be heard in Fiji more than 500 kilometers away.
Now other countries have issued warnings to protect their citizens.
Japan’s meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning in the early hours of Sunday and said waves up to 3 meters high were expected in the Amami Islands to the south.
At a press conference, a Japan Meteorological Agency official advised people not to go near the sea until the tsunami announcement and more severe tsunami warnings were lifted.
Meanwhile, California cities including Santa Monica and Santa Cruz were affected by tsunami flooding with many beaches closed.
According to the National Weather Service, waves as high as 4.1 feet were recorded in Port San Luis as locals flocked to watch in amazement as surfers defied themselves into the treacherous waters. dangerous.
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The agency has warned people to stay away from the shore and head towards high ground.
A statement said: “Tsunami surge has been reported at all coastal locations.
“If you’re living in this coastal area, move away from the beach and away from the harbors and marinas.
“Don’t go to the beach to watch the tsunami.
Snider added: “We don’t have a really good forecast because the event is based on volcano not an earthquake. “
The Berkeley Fire Department ordered a mandatory evacuation of those living in the Marina or the surrounding area.
And more than 1,400 miles away in New Zealand, officials warned of storm surge from the eruption.
The National Emergency Management Agency said some areas of New Zealand can expect strong and irregular currents as well as unpredictable shoreline surges following a major volcanic eruption.
Authorities in the nearby countries of Fiji and Samoa have also issued emergency warnings, asking people to stay away from the coast due to strong currents and dangerous waves.
Similar warnings were issued by authorities in Australia, where officials said a stretch of coast including Sydney could be affected by the tsunami.
People in New South Wales are “recommended to get out of the water and move away from the water’s edge immediately”.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of damage after the 105,000-strong island was left in the dark by the volcanic explosion.
Footage posted on social media showed large waves crashing ashore in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.
GAS, ASH AND SMOKE
The New Zealand Army said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby and ready to assist the nation.
Terrifying satellite photos from space show the massive eruption, lasting at least eight minutes and sending plumes of gas, ash and smoke into the air for miles.
The Tonga Meteorological Service said a tsunami warning was in effect for the whole of Tonga as the island’s capital is only 65 kilometers north of the volcano.
The head of Tonga’s Geological Service, Taaniela Kula, urged people to stay indoors, wear masks outside and cover rainwater reservoirs in case of acid rain.
The volcanic explosion is the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions.
One Twitter user posted a video showing the waves hitting the shore.
He said: “You can literally hear the eruption of the volcano, the sound is quite intense. Rain of ash and small pebbles, darkness whitens the sky.”
Tongan resident Mere Taufa said the eruption happened as her family was preparing dinner – and her brother thought bombs were exploding nearby.
TONGA KING HAS CHANGED
She told New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz: “My first instinct was to get under the table, I grabbed my sister and yelled at my parents and everyone else in the house did the same.”
Taufa said the next thing she knew, water was flooding into their home.
“You can just hear screams everywhere, people screaming for safety, for people to get to higher ground,” she said.
King Tupou VI of Tonga is said to have been evacuated from the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa and taken by a police convoy to a villa far from the coast.
The news site Matangi Tonga reported that scientists had seen large, thunderous explosions near the volcano after it began erupting early on Friday.
The website says satellite images show a three-mile-wide plume of ash, steam and gas rising 12 kilometers into the air.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8209727/tsunami-evacuation-aler-california-japan-australia/ Tsunami hits California with waves as high as 4ft as Australia and Japan issue evacuation warnings after Tonga volcano erupts