Seismologist: possible megatsunami from Tonga volcano

According to seismologist professor Efthymis Lekkas, he leaves open the possibility of a megatsunami due to continued volcanic activity in Tonga.

In particular, Professor of Disaster Management ( Διαχείρισης Φυσικών Καταστροφών) Efthimis Lekkas, based on field research conducted by him on the Krakatoa volcano, belonging to the same geotectonic fault, in December 2018 emphasized the difficulty of predicting the development of such phenomena, since there is no way to track the hot volcanic eruption mass (lava) and it is not possible to establish an extensive network of seismographs in the area.

Thus, according to Mr. Lekkas, the volcanic activity of the underwater volcano in Tonga, which will continue in the near future, leaves open the possibility of a collapse of the volcano’s dome. Such a collapse can cause a powerful tsunami that will spread throughout the Pacific Ocean.

Similar phenomena have already been recorded. But, according to the expert, this is only the beginning.

According to the publication, a column of smoke and ash, rising to a height of 20 km near the Tonga archipelago, was recorded on January 15 by a Japanese meteorological satellite. Only images from space allow us to appreciate the true power of the eruption of the underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Haapai. Its consequences were felt in many regions of the planet – from the coast of Australia to Alaska.

Recorded on Saturday, January 15, a powerful underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga caused tsunami waves. Estonian weather forecaster Kairo Kiitsak said that the shock wave from volcanic activity has spread across Estonia and Latvia.

Since the volcano is located deep enough, fortunately, there was no powerful tsunami. On the island of Shikoku in southern Japan, for example, everything was limited to a 1.2 m high wave hitting the coast. 10 ships were overturned.

Nevertheless, the force of the volcanic eruption was unusually great. It has been assigned a VEI of 5. Larger eruptions occur once every 10–20 years and can cause a volcanic winter. However, the ash erupting from the mouth of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Haapaya closed the sky only over the kingdom of Tonga, and even then for a day. Night reigned over the tiny Pacific nation during the day.

Volcán submarimo en Oceania Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai. Se aprecia claramente la columna de ceniza y la interacción del agua del mar con la erupción.

— ?????????????? (@EarthquakeChil1) January 8, 2022


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