Volcanic eruption

Tonga volcanic eruption confirmed as the largest explosion recorded since 1883

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai's eruption, which has been blamed for just six deaths, was similar in size to the Krakatoa explosion in Indonesia in 1883, according to the findings published in Science.

The Tonga explosion generated pressure waves, called Lamb waves, which travelled horizontally along Earth's surface for more than six days, according to the article.

Those Lamb waves are usually associated with large, atmospheric explosions, such as other volcanic eruptions and nuclear tests.

Tonga eruption was 'record atmospheric explosion'

It was far bigger than any 20th Century volcanic event, or indeed any atom bomb test conducted after WWII.

The assessment comes in a pair of scholarly papers in the journal Science that have reviewed all the data.

Of recent history, it's likely only the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 rivalled the atmospheric disturbance produced.

Tonga volcano eruption impacts observed up to edge of space

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted Jan. 15, sending a large plume of ash some 26 miles into the atmosphere and creating a shockwave that traveled about 1,000 feet per second and a tsunami that struck Nuku'alofa, Tonga, and American Samoa. The eruption killed at least six people.

The blast also caused atmospheric impacts, reaching into the ionosphere across the globe, according to a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Growing concern for mental health in Tonga

Aid agencies on the ground were reporting a need to rehabilitate people who were psychologically affected by the eruption and tsunami.

Their distress was made worse by the tough Covid-19 lockdown restrictions being applied in the Kingdom, said Tonga Red Cross Secretary General, Sione Taumoefolau.

Tonga's netball win helps to cheer up the kingdom

The kingdom was unranked before the week-long competition, and a new team of uncapped players had to be hastily put together following disruptions due to the volcanic eruption and Covid pandemic.

Tonga laid down a marker with a crushing 85-42 triumph over Papua New Guinea in the opening round before upset wins over World Cup regulars Fiji (68-54) and Samoa (60-56).

The 2019 Pacific Games silver medallists beat Singapore 65-53 in their final group match before defeating the Fiji Pearls 60-52 in Saturday's grand final.

Rugby community launches rebuilding fund to help Tonga

Following the disaster in January, Tongan sports stars including Charles Piutau, Malakai Fekitoa and Pita Taufatofua set up fundraising pages to support their homeland.

A star-studded charity rugby game was held in Brisbane last month to raise funds, while Rugby Australia, New Zealand Rugby and broadcasters on both sides of the Tasman are donating $500 per try across the first 10 rounds of Super Rugby Pacific to the Red Cross Pacific Tsunami Appeal.

Seaweed farms in Tonga 'washed out' from volcanic eruption

It naturally grows in Tongan waters, and can only be found in Tonga and Okinawa, Japan.

But the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga destroyed its only farms.

Masa Kawaguchi, director of South Pacific Mozuku in Tonga, said tests still needed to be completed to determine the amount of exports for this year.

"All of our equipment have been washed away," he said.

"It's probably floating on the ocean somewhere."

Concern over impacts of volcanic eruption on agriculture in Tonga

For days after the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano on 15 January the kingdom was covered in a blanket of volcanic ash and later soaked with acid rain.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization warns the ash could delay or stunt agricultural harvests.

"With roughly 86 percent of Tongans engaged in agriculture, FAO is extremely concerned about the potential impacts across all agriculture sectors, including fisheries, crops and livestock," the FAO said in a statement shortly after the volcanic eruption and tsunami in January.

Residents return to tsunami battered Tonga island

They were visited by the Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni over the weekend and have asked for an evacuation hall to be built at the highest point of the island, to house them if there is a similar event in the future.

The government said the Ministry of Agriculture is sending tapioca and kumara leaves to Nomuka to help farmers with replanting.

A team of Australian Defence Force personnel and soldiers from Fiji are on HMAS Canberra at Nomuka.

They are there to clear debris from the island.

Insurance claims in NZ from Tonga volcanic eruption close to NZ$6-million

This figure is an aggregate from 60 claims.

Forty-nine of the claims relate to marine craft totalling nearly $2 million ($1,947,282) with four commercial damage claims totalling almost $4 million ($3,862,640).

The claims are focused on the surge wave through Tutukaka marina, which resulted in several vessels being sunk and many other boats being damaged as well as causing extensive damage to marina infrastructure.