State: Tonga | Coordinates: -20.545; -175.393 | Eruption: Explosive
In Tonga, the Hunga-Tonga Ha’apai island volcano erupted, producing an eruption cloud that rose several kilometers high. At first, the eruption had been visible on satellite images. In the meantime, photos also appeared on social networks, either taken from neighboring islands, or from aircraft. The VAAC Wellington detected the eruption cloud, but does not give an altitude. The photo shows that the eruption cloud is umbrella-shaped. The umbrella is usually formed when the eruption cloud rises to the limit of the stratosphere, that is, at least 12 km high.
Hunga-Tonga Ha’apai is a young volcanic land that in its current form was formed only in December 2014. Previously, the active vent was submerged and flanked by 2 small islands that merged during the eruption of 7 years ago.
Ear witnesses report that the current eruption was so strong that it could be heard 240 km away.