Tsunami threat announcements were also distributed in some areas of New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and the Kuril Islands.

The eruption of the underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai, located near the islands of Polynesia, occurred within eight minutes. During this time, he threw out a column of ash with a diameter of about five kilometers and a height of about 20 kilometers. This is reported by the Geological Survey of Tonga, writes RNZ.

The eruption of the volcano was accompanied by shock waves that spread across the South Pacific Ocean. The sounds were also heard in Fiji – more than 800 kilometers from the volcano. The island’s authorities also advised residents to leave coastal areas and opened evacuation centers.

In the capital of Tonga, Nuku’alofa, which is located 65 kilometers from the volcano, the streets of the city were partially flooded — residential buildings and a church were affected by the water. The media reports that the king of the state Tupou VI was evacuated from the residence. The authorities recommended residents to evacuate to higher ground. There were no reports of injured residents of the region.

A specialist in volcanology at the University of Auckland, Professor Shane Cronin, told the BBC that this is one of the most powerful eruptions on Tonga in the last 30 years.

“The most remarkable thing about this is how quickly and violently the eruption spread. The current action of the volcano turned out to be much larger, rapidly developing, with a much larger amount of ejected ash. I expect that a layer of ash several centimeters thick will settle on Tonga.”

The Japanese authorities announced an approaching tsunami up to three meters high.