Video shows tsunami waves hitting Tonga after underwater volcano erupts

Source: 1News

Re-live 1News' coverage as an underwater volcano near Tonga has erupted causing tsunami waves to hit the Pacific Island kingdom.

Underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai has been erupting for a month.

9:55pm: This concludes 1News' live updates for the evening. A clearer picture of the damage from Tonga will emerge in the morning and 1News will have all the latest here on the website and on Sunday's 6pm bulletin.

Remember to stay out of the water and off beaches on the North Island's east coast overnight.

9:40pm: More satellite images of the eruption.

9:30pm: Samoa is under a tsunami warning with RNZ reporting more than 100 families have been evacuated in the Savaii villages of Palauli and Satupaitea.

9:05pm: No official word on whether there have been injuries or fatalities in Tonga after the tsunami.

There are unconfirmed reports of mass power outages, meaning there may not be information on this until the morning.

8:45pm: There have been multiple reports on New Zealand social media pages of loud booms being heard and houses shaking on Saturday evening.

The booms have been reported all over the country from Tauranga to Invercargill.

"We are sitting outside in Invercargill listening to what sounds like cannons going off," one person wrote on Facebook.


8:30pm: Video which was posted to social media on Saturday evening shows fences and cars being smashed by waves as someone films from a vehicle yelling "reverse, reverse" in Tongan.

8:16pm: The National Emergency Management Agency has warned people to stay off beaches on the east coast of the North Island and the Chatham Islands with "strong and unusual" currents set to hit the area due to the major volcano eruption near Tonga.

8:10pm: More video has been appearing on social media of tsunami waves hitting buildings in Tonga. It's currently 8:15pm there, the same timezone as New Zealand.

7:55pm: People as far away as Fiji and Samoa reported hearing the blast as the volcano erupted near Tonga.

7:40pm: Satellite imagery captured the moment the eruption took place.

7:25pm: An image of tsunami waves impacting the capital Nukuʻalofa.

7:20pm: Tongan journalist, Mary Fonua, based in the capital Nukuʻalofa, spoke to 1News on Saturday evening and called the situation ‘precarious’.

“You’ll forgive the wobble in my voice because we’ve had a very frightening hour,” she said.

Fonua said there was a series of "huge explosions" as the volcano, 65km away, erupted and was followed about 15 minutes later by tsunami waves.

"The first ones were the biggest," she said.

"This long white wave, we could see coming from the horizon. After about three waves it had come over the road and into our garden," she said.

Fonua said the "huge, rolling" waves were heading to a nearby, low-lying settlement,' which she said was a concern.

"I did see a few cars coming out before the waves hit," but, she said there are thousands of people in that area of the peninsula.

"The cracking earthquakes were so dire," she said, adding police had come out and warned people about the tsunami.

7:15pm: Video shows dark skies over Tonga as ash falls over the island.

7:10pm: There is no tsunami warning for New Zealand after the Tonga eruption according to the National Emergency Management Agency.

7pm: Click here for 1News' original story on the eruption for more background on the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano.

6.40pm: Video posted to social media by Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau shows the first tsunami waves hitting Tonga.

6.35pm: Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai erupted late afternoon (NZ time) with early local reports showing ashfall over Tonga and small tsunami waves beginning to impact the island.