Weekend View: Undersea Volcano Eruption Off Tonga Coast

by OldSailor on March 22, 2009



Is it an undersea nuclear explosion by any of the nuclear super powers ?


This is an undersea volcano eruption off the coast of Tonga, on March 18. Tonga is unique among Pacific nations, and remains as the only monarchy in the Pacific. Earthquakes are reported to be active in Tonga region since March 15. It is yet to be found out whether this undersea volcanic eruption is due to these earthquakes in this region.

Some interesting features of this undersea volcano eruption are:

  • Clouds of smoke, steam and ash reached between 15,000 and 25,000 feet into the sky above the South Pacific ocean. Tonga_1
  • The eruption was from one of the 36 undersea volcanoes located at sea, about 6 miles from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu.
  • The undersea eruption was taking place near the low-lying twin volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai, and within sight of the capital, Nuku’alofa.
  • At present the eruption does not pose any danger to islanders. However, the visitors who were close by when the eruption took place talked of burning birds falling from the sky.

Earthquake List for Map of South Pacific Region is at U.S. Geological Survey. Read more about Tonga from CIA – The World Fact Book.

View an amazing video clip of undersea volcano eruption here.

Read more about undersea volcano eruption, from NY Times.

Posts in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

XSR 48, a Super Car on Water

World Water Day Focuses on Sanitation

Update: March 23

View amazing photographs of undersea volcanic eruptions from The Big Picture.

View another videoclip from BBC World News.

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