Home LATEST NEWS Power of Tonga eruption greater than hundreds of Hiroshima

Power of Tonga eruption greater than hundreds of Hiroshima

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Volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands on January 15, 2022.

The volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands on January 15.

Photo: NASA

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano spewed a smoke mushroom up to 40 kilometers high during the eruption that was heard as far away as Alaska, more than 9,000 km away. away, and triggered a tsunami.

NASA said the eruption was several hundred times more powerful than the US atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945, which was estimated to yield about 15 kilotons of TNT.

megatons (5 to 30million tons)”,”text”:”We believe that the amount of energy released by the eruption was equivalent to an amount of TNT between 5 and 30 megatons (5 to 30 million tons)”}}”>We believe that the amount of energy released by the eruption was equivalent to an amount of TNT between 5 and 30 megatons (5 to 30 million tons), NASA scientist Jim Garvin said in the post Sunday night.

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The agency said the eruption had wiped out the volcanic island located about 65 kilometers north of Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga.

It covered the island kingdom of around 100,000 people with a layer of toxic ash, poisoning drinking water, destroying agricultural crops and completely wiping out at least two villages.

It also claimed at least three lives in Tonga and led to the drowning of two bathers in Peru whose coasts were hit by exceptional waves due to the eruption.

A environmental emergency 90 days has been announced by the Peruvian authorities for the coastal area damaged by the spill of 6000 barrels of crude oil a week ago, an oil spill which continues to spread and which despairs the inhabitants.

In Tonga, the extent of the damage remains uncertain, with communications still down.

Shock far exceeds anything people here have known, Nuku’alofa-based journalist Mary Lyn Fonua told AFP.

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The shock wave from the eruption just shook our brains, she said, adding that the layer of fine gray ash that covers everything still makes life difficult for the inhabitants.

It seeps everywhere, she says. It irritates our eyes, we have sores in the corner of our mouths, everyone has blackened fingernails. We look like a filthy bunch.

The Japanese, New Zealand and Australian defense forces have begun delivering emergency relief supplies, including water, while maintaining strict COVID-19 protocols to keep the archipelago safe from the pandemic.

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