Residents of Tonga are fleeing to higher ground as water floods their homes as a result of an underwater volcano eruption.
Waves crashing through homes and streets near the coast of Tonga, according to social media footage.
After an undersea volcano erupted on Saturday, tsunami waves hit the Pacific nation of Tonga.
Drivers fleeing waves crashing through a fence can be seen on social media, while another video shows a church and surrounding homes engulfed in water.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haapai volcano is 40 miles from Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, but officials in Suva, Fiji’s capital, say its eight-minute eruption was heard nearly 500 miles away as “loud thunder sounds.”
Satellite imagery of the recent (hashtag)Tonga eruption is absolutely breathtaking.
Pic.twitter.comFCioKkbvJU (hashtag)New Zealand’s North Island is at the bottom left.
Following the eruption, the Tonga Meteorological Services issued a tsunami warning for the entire country, as residents rushed to higher ground.
Mere Taufa, a Tonga resident, said she and her family were preparing dinner when the eruption occurred.
“It was massive,” she told the Stuff news website in New Zealand.
Our house shook as well as the ground.
It was a series of events.
“Bombs were exploding nearby,” my younger brother thought.
This family had gone to church.
When the tsunami struck, they’d just finished choir practice???????????? pic.twitter.comDLLFRJ9BAc
Ms. Taufa ducked under the table and instructed her family to do the same, but water quickly flooded their home.
“We knew it was a tsunami right away.”
“It’s just rain pouring into our house,” she explained.
“All you could hear were screams for safety, for everyone to get to higher ground.”
Tsunami videos from Tonga this afternoon as a result of the Volcano Eruption. pic.twitter.comJTIcEdbpGe
Tonga’s King Tupou VI was reportedly evacuated from his residence near the coast by police and military troops as he and other residents fled the coast.
“The energy release is simply astonishing,” the Weather Watch forecasting company said on Twitter.
Despite being over 1,400 miles away, the Fijian government has issued a tsunami warning and opened evacuation centers, while officials in New Zealand have warned of storm surges.
Tonga tsunami: Residents flee to higher ground as water fills homes following underwater volcano eruption
— WeatherWatch.co.nz (@WeatherWatchNZ) January 15, 2022
This family were in church. They’d just finish having choir practice and the tsunami hit ????❤️???????? pic.twitter.com/DLLFRJ9BAc
— KNOWKNEE (@JohnnyTeisi) January 15, 2022
Tsunami videos out of Tonga ???????? this afternoon following the Volcano Eruption. pic.twitter.com/JTIcEdbpGe
— Jese Tuisinu (@JTuisinu) January 15, 2022