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What you need to know about the Tsunami in Tonga

By: Emily Lao and Dory Miller

On Saturday, January 15, an underwater volcano in Tonga erupted, causing a disastrous explosion with dangerous effects for Tongan citizens. However, before learning of the eruption, most Californians received alerts for a tsunami advisory affecting the West Coast. This article covers more about the eruption, tsunami advisory, and what you can do to help the citizens of Tonga during this difficult time!


The Kingdom of Tonga is a small country made up of many islands in the South Pacific Ocean. An underwater volcano near the edges of the country of Tonga erupted after erupting periodically in December but according to the NY Times, had settled down shortly after. This volcano had erupted previously in 2014, though this recent explosion has had many more dangerous effects.


The effects of this eruption have been felt around the world, however, tsunami cautions were lifted a few days later after the waves caused no significant damages to countries neighboring the Pacific Ocean.

Tonga, however, has been hit the hardest. The most immediate effect of the eruption was tsunami debris and ash falling from the sky. So far, New Zealand has not been able to maintain much contact with Tonga and so there are no exact details on the damages. However they've learned that shops and homes along the coast have been destroyed and because of the ash and dust surrounding the islands, the air and water are most likely contaminated. Officials estimate up to 80,000 people have been affected.


started by Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua

supports educational and developmental opportunities and raises

awareness of Tongan societal issues


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