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 of United Nations Satellite Center (UNOSAT) reveal that as a result of the eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apa volcano only two small portions of land remain above sea level.
Before the strong explosion, these two surviving portions -part of the submarine volcano cone- they were much larger and linked by a tongue of land up to 1.2 kilometers wide.
.@UNOSAT produced a preliminary assessment of the impact from #HungaTongaHungaHaapai volcano: https://t.co/hZ4vheqRwg
See a few extracts from the report, providing before and after comparisons using #Pleiades, #Sentinel2 and WorldView imagery. #TongaVolcano pic.twitter.com/XgzgPFycC3
— Disasters Charter (@DisastersChart) January 17, 2022
Communications with Tonga continue to be scarce three days after the eruption of the volcano, some 65 kilometers north of the island of Tongatapu -the most inhabitable in the archipelago-, and the subsequent tsunami, while it has already been confirmed at least one dead, 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, Chile, 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 thick blanket of ash.
As the clouds clear, ashfall from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano is visible on Tongatapu. Captured by a Planet SkySat. pic.twitter.com/ISRl5LCdVX
— Planet (@planet) January 18, 2022
The violent eruption of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai, which launched steam and ash about 20 kilometers high and created a tsunami that impacted several nations bathed by the Pacific Ocean, was heard hundreds of kilometers away and could be seen clearly from satellites in Earth orbit.