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Tsunami in Tonga: the images that reveal the before and after of the volcano eruption

The eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano on January 15 caused a wave of devastation in the archipelago of Tonga, which is still isolated by the cut of the only submarine cable that connects it with the outside world.

LOOK: Tonga confirms that the tsunami caused an “unprecedented disaster” with waves of up to 15 meters

The eruption, which lasted for 8 minutes, was so powerful that it could be heard more than 800 km away, and generated a cloud of smoke and ash that rose to a height of 20 km.

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It also caused waves of more than a meter that hit the coast of Tonga.

In its first update since the eruption, the Tongan government says it is facing an “unprecedented disaster”.

LOOK: 6 graphs showing how Tonga’s eruption spread across the Pacific so violently

Satellite images taken before and after the eruption reveal the damage left by this natural disaster on the archipelago, which was covered by a blanket of ash.

According to the Red Cross, around 80,000 people could have been affected in the archipelago that is made up of some 169 islands, spread over some 700,000 square kilometers,

The population of Tonga is about 100,000 people who live mostly on the island of Tongatapu, south of the volcano.

Ash covering one of the runways on the island is hampering the arrival of relief aid in Tonga, which is currently in need of drinking water and other basic supplies.

On Tuesday, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said “water is one of the priorities in Tonga right now.”

Aid agencies say volcanic ash and the tsunami are likely to have contaminated Tonga’s water supplies.

Experts point out that the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano is one of the most violent in the region in decades.


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