Tonga Volcano – Undersea Volcano Gives Rise To New Island [VIDEO]

Mike Schuler
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March 19, 2009

Filmed back in 2009, this incredible footage shows an underwater volcano erupting within the Tonga Archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean.

According to an AFP report in March 2009:

The volcano, on the small, uninhabited islet of Hunga Ha’apai 63 kilometres (39 miles) northwest of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa, began erupting Monday, several days after a moderate earthquake.

It continued to spew Friday even as a major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 rocked Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu.

The volcano is hundreds of kilometres from the epicentre of the earthquake, which caused no significant damage but sparked a regional tsunami warning.

Radio journalist George Lavaka, who visited the island with a sightseeing group Thursday, said the explosions were accompanied by a deep rumbling.

“The island itself is totally destroyed,” Lavaka said, “there is no living thing left there, it’s all covered in black ash.

In fact, the eruptions this week have been so massive that they have formed a new island and even a Pumice Raft has been spotted floating near the eruption, according to Times Online.  A pumice raft is a large quantity of pumice fragments floating on the ocean surface (pumice is a volcanic rock that contains so many gas vesicles that it floats) and is a very rare occurrence.

Boston.com has a great collection of photos HERE

Tonga on a map…

tonga
Click to enlarge
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