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Volcanic Eruption That Caused Sonic Boom May Be Largest Ever Seen From Space

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Volcanic Eruption That Caused Sonic Boom May Be Largest Ever Seen From Space

This is footage from space of the huge underwater volcanic eruption which created a tsunami and an ash cloud 12 miles high:


The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted on 15 January close to the Pacific nation of Tonga - the true extent of the damage continues to remain unclear.

However, footage has been released by Space.com of the moment which sparked a tidal wave in Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa and a tsunami warning for all islands in Tonga. On top of this, people have also been cautioned about possible threats of acid rain.


Where the tsunami hit is around 40 miles away from the volcano and the sonic boom could be heard across the Pacific Ocean.

Credit: Space.com
Credit: Space.com

According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 'local officials said the eruption had a radius of 260 km (161.5 miles), and sent ash, steam, and gas 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the air'.

In addition to that, it added: "A tidal gauge in Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga, measured a 30 cm (one foot) tsunami wave that resulted from the blast."


Reports suggest that the island first formed between December 2014 and January 2015, when an underwater volcano explosively erupted. When all the dust, rock, and ash settled, a newly-formed island remained between two older islands, with a summit reaching 400 feet high.

Many Tongans around the world have struggled to get in contact with their loved ones back home and authorities are finding it difficult to speak to anyone about how bad it is on the ground.

British woman, Angela Glover, has now been confirmed dead with her brother, Nick Eleini, explaining that the 50-year-old died while trying to save her dogs.

As per the BBC, he said he believed her body was found by her husband James in some bushes and the family discovered she had died at around 7am on Monday.

Credit: Space.com
Credit: Space.com

Her family and friends appealed for information on her whereabouts after she went missing at the weekend and they said in Facebook posts Mr Glover held on to a tree while Mrs Glover and her dogs were washed away by the tsunami.

Reading out a statement, her brother told Sky News: “I understand that this terrible accident came about as they tried to rescue their dogs.

“Angela and James loved their life in Tonga and adored the Tongan people. In particular, they loved the Tongan love of family and Tongan culture.


“From a little girl, it was always Angela’s dream to swim with whales, and it was Tonga that gave her the opportunity that allowed her to fulfil these dreams.

“As you can imagine, her family is devastated and we respectfully request that we are given privacy to grieve.”

Featured Image Credit: Space.com

Topics: News, World News

Rebecca Shepherd
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