GOES-17 ABI Captures Hunga-Tonga Eruption
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18 January 2022 - At 4:10 UTC on 15 January 2022, the Hunga-Tonga Volcano in the South Pacific erupted.The eruption occurred about 40 miles north of Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa on Tongatapu, the country's main island. Tonga consists of 170 islands scattered over about 700,000 sq km. The archipelago is located east of Australia and northeast of New Zealand. About 100,000 people live in Tonga, the bulk of them on Tongatapu Island.
The underwater volcano Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai eruption caused waves over 3' to crash into Tonga. Local authorities have confirmed at least one death and communications are crippled due to damage to fiber optic cables, making it difficult to establish the scale of damage. A magnitude 4.0 earthquake accompanied the eruption.
The GOES-17 ABI captured images of the eruption, as seen in this video. The initial dust cloud from the eruption spanned more than 400 miles wide. Tsunami watches were issued to Pacific coastal areas by the National Weather Service, with surf observed to be several feet above expected levels in the Pacific Northwest.