Tonga, Volcanic Eruption and Tsunami, January 15, 2022

On 15 January 2022, a major explosive eruption from Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai in Tonga occurred. The volcano had been actively erupting since 20 Dec 2021. The eruption generated a tsunami observed throughout the Pacific Ocean basin. The tsunami registered over 1 meter at tide gauges in Tonga, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Hawaii, Japan, Chile, Alaska, and California. Atmospheric pressure from the event generated small meteorological tsunami waves observed globally. The tsunami resulted in extensive damage to nearby islands. Damages have been reported as far away as New Zealand, Chile, Peru, and California. Deaths have been reported in Tonga and Peru. Damage assessments and post-tsunami surveys will provide a clearer picture of the 15 January event.

Tsunami Time Travel Map for the 15 January 2022 Tonga Tsunami. Select image for a larger view

DART stations (green triangles) and theoretical tsunami (long wave) travel time (TTT) map. The contour intervals for the TTT is 1 hour. Blue star represents the location of Hunga Tonga - Hunga Ha'apai volcano. (Source: Gusman, A.R. and Roger, J., GNS Science)