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Outstanding Video: Underwater Volcano Erupts In South Pacific

March 22, 2009

This video is nothing short of spectacular, and as such I absolutely wanted it to be a part of this blog.

A volcanic eruption close to the South Pacific nation of Tonga has destroyed rich birdlife and vegetation, leaving a wasteland of black ash and tree stumps, witnesses said Friday.

Sightseers, officials and scientists who have taken boats to the site have described frequent explosions hurtling rocks and ash hundreds of metres into the air.

The volcano, on the small, uninhabited islet of Hunga Ha’apai 63 kilometres (39 miles) northwest of the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa, began erupting Monday, several days after a moderate earthquake.

It continued to spew Friday even as a major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 rocked Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu.

The volcano is hundreds of kilometres from the epicentre of the earthquake, which caused no significant damage but sparked a regional tsunami warning.

Radio journalist George Lavaka, who visited the island with a sightseeing group Thursday, said the explosions were accompanied by a deep rumbling.

“The island itself is totally destroyed,” Lavaka said, “there is no living thing left there, it’s all covered in black ash.

“There are only black stumps where the coconut trees were,” he added. “We saw dead birds and fish in the water.”

One Comment
  1. March 22, 2009 10:55 AM

    The power of nature is amazing. I wonder if all that volcanic ash will affect the weather this year.

    While the destruction of wildlife and habitat is sad, it is part of the circle of life in the ring of fire. Eventually, that volcano will spawn new land.

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