Shockwaves from a volcanic eruption on the other side of the world have reached the UK.
The Met Office in the UK has detected shockwaves from the eruption of the giant, underwater Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which caused a tsunami that hit the island nation of Tonga, flooding towns and blanketing the main island in volcanic ash.
Even though the volcano is about 10,000 miles away from the UK, the Met Office’s observation sites in Brize Norton and Benson were able to pick up the long-reaching shockwave, which originated from the underwater volcano in the South Pacific.
The eruption was heard across the South Pacific and the sonic boom eventually reached as far as Alaska.
There have been no official reports of injuries or deaths as of yet, The Guardian reports, but communication with the country is limited and contact has not been re-established with many parts of the island nation, which consists of more than 170 islands in the Pacific Ocean.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said the main undersea communications cable had likely been affected by a loss of power.
She said: ‘Communication, as a result of the eruption, has been difficult, but our defence force team and ministry of foreign affairs are working as we speak to establish what’s needed and how we can help.’
Videos posted on social media have shown people fleeing the tsunami, trying to get to higher ground and staying away from the serious damage caused by flooding, BBC News reports.
The impact of the eruption and resulting tsunami has been felt in countries around the Pacific, with warnings issued for Australia, Japan and the US.
This is the largest eruption ever recorded from the active underwater volcano, Sky News reports, with British geological survey seismologist Roger Musson saying Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai erupted ‘about a year or so ago’ but that this eruption was seven times larger.
Satellite images record that the plume of ash, smoke and gas from the volcano was three miles wide and 12 miles high.
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Topics: News, Now, UK, Volcano