The Pacific project Tonga volcano - a visual guide to the eruption and its aftermath

by Donna Lu and Nick Evershed and Josh Nicholas

17 January 2022

The undersea volcano is located about 65km (40 miles) north of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, and is part of a vast arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire”.

Though it only rises 114 metres above sea level, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano overall is 1.8km high and 20km wide.

A public notice issued by the Tonga Geological Services notes continuous eruption and a 5km-wide plume. The volcano had been active since an earlier eruption on 20 December but was declared dormant by the authority on 11 January.

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