Tsunami Surge

On 20 December 2021, an eruption began on Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai, a submarine volcano in the Tongan archipelago in the southern Pacific Ocean. The eruption reached a very large and powerful climax nearly four weeks later, on 15 January 2022. Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai is 65 km (40 mi) north of Tongatapu, the country's main island, and is part of the highly active Tonga–Kermadec Islands volcanic arc, a subduction zone extending from New Zealand north-northeast to Fiji. In the Volcanic Explosivity Index scale, the eruption was rated at least a VEI-5.The eruption caused tsunamis in Tonga, Fiji, American Samoa, Vanuatu, and along the Pacific rim, including damaging tsunamis in New Zealand, Japan, the United States, the Russian Far East, Chile, and Peru. At least four people were killed, some were injured, and some remain possibly missing in Tonga from tsunami waves up to 20 m (66 ft) high. Two people drowned in Peru when 2 m (6 ft 7 in) waves struck the coast. It was the largest volcanic eruption since the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, and the most powerful eruption since the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. NASA determined that the eruption was "hundreds of times more powerful" than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The eruption was the largest explosion recorded in the atmosphere by modern instrumentation, far larger than any 20th century volcanic event or nuclear bomb test. It is thought that in recent centuries, only the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 rivalled the atmospheric disturbance produced.