Tsunami in Tonga

I’ve always thought Tsunami are terrifying, the idea of a wall of water coming towards you that you can’t stop or control. I think it’s because I nearly drowned in Southend once I some freak waves

So I really fear for the people in Tonga after a volcano went off and the storms and waves it will cause. The sea is so powerful and deadly. I’d be terrified. It looks as if it was awful but could have been worse.

The photos of the eruption are amazing though, fascinating to see.

Yes awful. Poor people . To live with such fear

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I was reading about this earlier. It must have been absolutely terrifying. I can’t begin to imagine how frightening it must be to see plumes of steam and ash 3 miles wide and rising about 12 miles - yes TWELVE MILES - into the air. Those poor people :cry:

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The entire east coast of Australia is subject to a tsunami warning with low lying areas of places like Norfolk Island evacuated and warnings to stay away from the sea.

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We heard it!!!
A couple of big bangs, sounding rather muffled by the time it reached these shores and we didn’t immediately associate the sounds with Tonga and the volcano but scary enough…even issued a marine wave warning here…full on!


That’s very scary, I hope there’s not too much damage.
I think the worst part is the inevitability, you know it’s coming but can’t do anything

Oh goodness, that must have been frightening, hope everyone will be OK. Waves have such a force behind them

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Was just a marine warning, so no threat to land. We are in no danger here but worry about my mother-in-law who is very fragile and lives in low lying part of the coast…something like that would be devastating hate to think.

Where are you Lucy?

It was unbelievable seeing the space image. Fingers crossed you will all be ok. I think you’re pretty inland right? Isn’t NZ more likely to be affected?

Tsunami wave heights from the BOM web site:

Name Country Lat Lon Height (m) Date Time (AEST)
Nuku’Alofa TONGA 21.10S 175.20W 1.19 15 Jan 3:46:00 PM
Suva Viti Levu FIJI 18.10S 178.42E 0.36 15 Jan 5:03:00 PM
Pago Pago SAMOA 14.30S 170.69W 0.55 15 Jan 4:40:00 PM
Apia SAMOA 13.67S 171.83W 0.27 15 Jan 6:06:00 PM
Rarotonga COOK ISLAND 21.20S 159.78W 0.74 15 Jan 7:56:00 PM
Funafuti TUVALU 8.50S 179.20E 0.11 15 Jan 6:24:00 PM
East Cape NEW ZEALAND 37.50S 178.17E 0.38 15 Jan 7:15:00 PM
Lifou Island NEW CALEDONI 20.90S 167.28E 0.29 15 Jan 5:33:00 PM
Ouinne NEW CALEDONI 22.00S 166.83E 0.67 15 Jan 7:21:00 PM
Norfolk Island AUSTRALIA 29.10S 167.95E 1.27 15 Jan 9:00:00 PM
Port Villa VANUATU 17.80S 168.31E 1.18 15 Jan 7:50:00 PM
Luganville VANUATU 15.50S 167.33E 0.29 15 Jan 7:06:00 PM
DART 55023 CORAL SEA 2, 14.72S 153.54E Detected 15 Jan 9:44:00 PM
Gold Coast AUSTRALIA 27.90S 153.43E 0.82 15 Jan 10:54:00 PM
Charleston NEW ZEALAND 41.83S 171.33E 0.65 15 Jan 11:35:00 PM
Port Kembla AUSTRALIA 34.50S 151.00E 0.65 16 Jan 2:50:00 AM
Puysegur Welcome Bay NEW ZEALAND 46.17S 166.50E 0.2 15 Jan 11:30:00 PM
Twofold Bay AUSTRALIA 37.00S 150.00E 0.77 15 Jan 11:30:00 PM
Spring Bay AUSTRALIA 42.50S 147.93E 0.27 15 Jan 9:00:00 PM
Southport Jetty AUSTRALIA 43.50S 147.00E 0.48 16 Jan 12:15:00 AM
Battery Point AUSTRALIA 43.00S 147.33E 0.12 15 Jan 9:35:00 PM
Rosslyn Bay AUSTRALIA 23.20S 150.79E 0.25 16 Jan 3:05:00 AM
Chichijima JAPAN 27.10N 142.19E 0.75 16 Jan 1:00:00 AM
Burnie. AUSTRALIA 41.00S 145.83E 0.33 16 Jan 7:09:00 AM
Jackson Bay NEW ZEALAND 43.97S 168.62E 1.14 15 Jan 11:50:00 PM

Port Kembla is in Wollongong

Panic over for now

Bruce what is the wave height in terms of force? Because looking at the numbers it doesn’t look too bad. But I’m sure I am missing something?

I don’t know much about this but i think calling it a wave is a bit misleading. Of course it is a wave but it is very long so it is more like a tide rising, say, 1m suddenly rather than a breaker which collapses and recedes.

As it happened a YouTube channel I watched for the La Palma volcano came up with a quite informative video.

I have to say that hearing Buoys pronounced as Booies makes me laugh I pronounce it as boys.

It is a very interesting video nonetheless and well worth watching

That’s bad news from Tonga:


The eruption at 0410 GMT of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano, located about 65km (40 miles) north of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, caused a 1.2-metre tsunami, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said.

The eruption – captured in satellite images that show a huge plume of ash, steam and gas rising from the ocean – was heard and felt as far away as in Fiji and Vanuatu, where people reported feeling the ground and buildings shaking for hours.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or the extent of the damage in Tonga, but online videos showed huge waves in coastal areas, swirling around homes and buildings.

Communications and power were reportedly out across Tonga’s main island, and the government called up military reserves to assist with the response to the disaster.

Islands Business reported that a convoy of police and military troops evacuated King Tupou VI from his palace near the shore, and local news site Kaniva Tonga reported long lines of traffic as thousands of people attempted to reach higher ground across the main island.

Dr Faka’iloatonga Taumoefolau, a project coordinator working with the Tongan parliament, said the explosion had led to a fall of “ash and tiny pebbles, darkness blanketing the sky”.

Tsunami waves of 82cm (2.7 ft) were observed by gauges in the Tongan capital and waves of 60cm (2 ft) in Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

We shall have to wait for a full report of the impact on lives and property.


According to BOM there is still a current tsunami warning for the NSW coast this arvo.

You can see the page here and current warnings here:


BTW some one asked, I am 5 m above sea level but there is historic evidence of tsunamis reaching many, many miles inland, however i feel very safe at the moment.

Correction I thought I was higher at 13m but it turns out I am 5m above sea level but still good

New Zealand.
Some surge action here last evening, damage done to a marina on the East coast of Northland (where I am…inland thankfully) but that was in combination with the tail end of a cyclone in the region.
Biggest issue currently seems to be getting and maintaining contact with Tonga.

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Internet and phone connections to Tonga have been interrupted, as I understand it the RAAF and RAN as well as the Kiwi defence forces are preparing to leave ASAP taking aid to Tonga.

This was the latest evening news which gives a lot more detail

BTW the NSW tsunami warning was cancelled about 10 minutes ago 10pm AEDT


The NZ Defence Force tweeted that an Orion aircraft left Auckland on Monday morning to assist in an initial impact assessment of the area and low-lying islands.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said the Royal Australian Air Force “were undertaking surveillance activity over the affected area”.

A surveillance plane and a C130 earlier took off from RAAF Base at Amberley in Queensland headed for Tonga.

HMAS Adelaide is a vessel designed specifically for these sort of tasks.

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Every sympathy to the people of Tonga and their relatives many of whom live in Auckland.
Unfortunately these things happen and there is no way to stop them. It was only a bit less than 2000 years ago that the Taupo eruption in NZ was the biggest eruption on earth in the last 5000 years. Luckily nobody lived here then! :slight_smile: