NEWS

Fijians In Tonga Seek Prayers As Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano Erupts

There were at least 10 consecutive explosions followed by black clouds in the sky.
15 Jan 2022 18:56
Fijians In Tonga Seek Prayers As Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano Erupts
Images showing lightning around Hunga Tonga-Haa'pai volcanic eruptions. Photo: Tonga Meteorological Services

Tonga is raining ash and tiny pebbles after the powerful eruption of the Hunga Tonga – Huuga Ha’apai volcano.

The Tongan Meteorological Services had issued a warning: “To everyone living near the shoreline, move in land now because tsunami waves have hit the shores.”

Fijians living in Tonga have taken to social media seeking prayers for Tonga and its people.

Journalist Iliesa Tora was streaming live on Facebook on their way to the evacuation centre.

He said there were at least 10 consecutive explosions followed by black clouds in the sky.   Black pebbles were visible from the video.

Mr Tora said earlier today the tsunami warning that was issued yesterday was cancelled.

He urged Fijians to pray for the people of Tonga.

“This is the first time we are experiencing this in Tonga and its frightening.  We could hear the explosion and could see the black pebbles and tsunami  – it wasn’t this bad seven years ago.”

 

   

 

Another Fijian, Belinda Fraser who lives in the capital Nukualofa said: “Here in the capital it feels like we’re experiencing sort of an earthquake in the sense hat the eruptions are etremely ear piercing loud and out building is shaking.

“Its raining ash now,” she said.

Meanwhile, across Fiji the explosion was heard in Suva, Pacific Harbour, Savusavu, Labasa and Kadavu.

Narikoso villager Kelepi Saukitoga said they were shocked to see the tidal waves come in.  For those who were recently relocated, they watched as the village below was swamped by the waves.

“We are all safe here. We were all taken by surprise.  All we were hearing were the rumblings and then the loud explosion – it sounded like a canon ball gun.”

He said the tidal wave came in five minutes after the explosion and the waves kept coming in for at least 15 minutes.  Fortunately the tide was low at the time.

 

Tidal waves that surprised villagers in Narikoso, Kadavu. Photo: Kelepi Saukitoga

Tidal waves that surprised villagers in Narikoso, Kadavu. Photo: Kelepi Saukitoga

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Meanwhile in Naroi and Vunuku villages in Moala in the Lau group, villagers have evacuated to the nearby school as seawater have entered their homes.  This was confirmed by Roko Tui Lau, Joji Kalounivalu.

Vatoa island also in the Lau group experienced the same and have evacuated to a nearby school.

Most villagers are fearful for their lives as this is the first time for them to experience such eruption followed by the tidal waves.

 

The following was issued by the Mineral Resources Department, Seismology Section.

 

If you know of Fijians who may have been impacted by the volcano eruption,  please reach out to Wati on this email: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

 



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