Satellite images show that the Tonga volcano whose violent eruption caused a tsunami in the Pacific Ocean has practically disappeared after the explosion recorded on Saturday, one of the most powerful in three decades.
Recent photographs from the United Nations Satellite Center (UNOSAT) reveal that following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apa volcano, only two small portions of land remain above sea level.
Before the powerful explosion, these two surviving portions – part of the underwater volcano’s cone – were much larger and linked by a tongue of land up to 1.2 kilometers wide.
Communications with Tonga remain poor three days after the volcano erupted, some 65 kilometers north of Tongatapu Island. -the most habitable of the archipelago- and the subsequent tsunami, while at least one death has already been confirmed, although the authorities believe that the number of victims will be higher.
Australian and New Zealand planes have flown over part of Tonga, made up of 169 islands and with 105,000 inhabitants, in reconnaissance tasks to assess the damage caused by the eruption and tsunami, which affected the coasts of the United States, Peru, Japan and Australia, among other countries.
For its part, the American company Planet, which has a network of 150 satellites, shows this Tuesday aerial images of the devastation caused by the tsunami in Tonga thanks to the fact that the “clouds caused by the volcano are clearing,” they point out on Twitter .
In a photograph it can be seen that a coastal settlement with around a hundred buildings and the nearby forests have practically disappeared completely and is now covered by a dense blanket of ash.
The violent eruption of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai, which released steam and ash some 20 kilometers high and created a tsunami that impacted several nations washed by the Pacific Ocean, was heard hundreds of kilometers away and could be seen clearly from satellites in Earth orbit.
(With information from EFE)