In an article for The New York Times, it was revealed that an underwater volcano near the island nation of Tonga erupted, which triggered tsunami warnings across the west coast of the United States.
The eruption reportedly sent plumes of gas and ash thousands of feet into the atmosphere. At Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, a four-foot tsunami wave struck. People rushed to higher ground, and witnesses say that ash was falling from the sky.
The eruption of the underwater volcano created a booming sound that was heard in New Zealand, the article says. This is especially impressive, and concerning, considering New Zealand is 1,100 miles southwest of the main island.
For the United States, this causes some concern for people on West Coast and in Alaska and Hawaii. Officials have been urging people living in coastal areas to stay away from the coastline and move to higher ground as soon as possible, the article reports.
In the state of California, there were reports of water surging into the Santa Cruz harbor and damaging boats, while also submerging the parking lot.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that tsunami waves of up to a few feet could come in "pulses" in the Bay Area. The NWS warned that the surges in the water level could easily overwhelm people and take them out to sea.
In the state of Oregon, the NWS reported that one to three-foot tsunami waves could hit some areas.
A meteorological agency in Japan reported that a four-foot wave reached the southern island of Amami Oshima and smaller waves had hit more areas around the Pacific Coast of Japan.
On Twitter, the NWS Alaska region said, "The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption was heard here in Alaska starting at around 3:30 am - 6,000 miles from the volcano..."
“This is when listening to local officials is critically important and taking steps to prepare for the tsunami saves lives," a spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.
So, what do you think about this news? Do you know anyone on the West Coast who could be affected by this? Comment below and let me know!
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