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Tsunami Advisory Issued for West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska After Volcano Erupts in Tonga

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The National and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centers have issued tsunami advisories for the entire West Coast, Hawaii, and parts of Alaska as a volcano erupted near Tonga late Friday.

The advisory was announced by the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) at 7:55 a.m. EST on both Facebook and Twitter and is in place for all of the West Coast from the California/Mexico border through Alaska’s pacific coast to Attu.

Tsunami Message Number 2Tsunami Information from Tonga Islands Volcanic…

Posted by National Tsunami Warning Center on Saturday, January 15, 2022

The NTWC stated:

Tsunami advisories mean that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to people in or very near the water is expected. Significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.

The Hunga Ha’apai volcano near Tonga erupted at 11:26 p.m. EST according to the U.S. Tsunami warning system. Tonga is located some 1,400 miles northeast of New Zealand.

A second tsunami event near Tonga has triggering warnings for Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Samoa, Lord Howe and Norkfolk Island. https://t.co/j72Me4KLjv pic.twitter.com/JrnMkKH6wX

— The Australian (@australian) January 15, 2022

“The volcano, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, is about 40 miles north of the Pacific archipelago’s main island, Tongatapu,” the New York Times reports.

Images of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption from the Tonga Meteorological Service: https://t.co/9iVBFOgTzc pic.twitter.com/gCrbP9JEhU

— Dr Janine Krippner (@janinekrippner) January 15, 2022

Visible satellite imagery – close up over #Tonga. Absolutely enormous #eruption. pic.twitter.com/R6oVgtzTgg

— WeatherWatch.co.nz (@WeatherWatchNZ) January 15, 2022

The Associated Press reports:

There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of the damage as communications with the small nation remained cut off hours after the eruption.

New Zealand’s military said it was monitoring the situation and remained on standby, ready to assist if asked.

The Tonga Meteorological Services said a tsunami warning was declared for all of the archipelago, and data from the Pacific tsunami center showed waves of 80 centimeters (2.7 feet) had been detected.

Residents in American Samoa were notified of the warning with the ringing of church bells as the siren system was out of commission, according to the Associated Press. Warnings were also issued for Samoa and Fiji.

Hawaii has reported waves ranging from one-foot tall in Nawiliwili, Kaua to nearly three-foot-tall in Hanalei.

National Weather Services in Portland, Oregon announced waves one to three feet in height were expected to hit parts of Oregon and Washington around 8:30 a.m.

“First wave may not be the highest so later waves my [sic] be larger,” the agency noted.

TSUNAMI UPDATE 509AM:

1 to 3 ft waves along the Washington & Oregon Coast.

Timing:

830AM Newport, OR

835AM Long Beach, WA

845AM Seaside, OR

First wave may not be the highest so later waves my be larger.

Will update again when we receive more info. https://t.co/wncYbJqaAO

— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) January 15, 2022

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