Undersea Volcano Erupts in Tonga

Scientists are inspecting an undersea volcano that has been erupting for days near Tonga.

The volcano is shooting smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet into the sky above the South Pacific ocean.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

From the Associated Press:

Authorities said Thursday the eruption does not pose any danger to islanders at this stage, and there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected.

Spectacular columns are spewing out of the sea about 6 miles from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu — an area where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered, geologists said.

Trade winds continued to blow gas and steam away from the island Thursday.

No warnings yet
Tonga’s police deputy commander Taniela Faletau said coastal villages close to the roiling ocean site were not yet at risk and that no warnings had been issued.

Police were waiting for a government team of officials and scientists to survey the area and report on their observations before taking any action.

Coastal residents said the steam and ash column first appeared on Monday morning, after a series of sharp earthquakes were felt in the capital, Nuku’alofa.

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