An underwater volcano near Tonga has erupted for the third time in four days, potentially threatening the ability of surveillance flights to assess the damage to the Pacific island nation following Saturday's massive eruption and tsunami.
Australia's meteorological service said a "large eruption" took place at the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Monday, but no tsunami warnings have been issued.
Saturday's eruption was likely the biggest recorded anywhere on the planet in more than 30 years, according to experts. Dramatic images from space captured the eruption in real time, as a huge plume of ash, gas and steam was spewed up to 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the atmosphere -- and tsunami waves were sent crashing across the Pacific
On social media, footage showed people fleeing as waves inundated Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, and the afternoon sky turned pitch black due to the heavy ash cloud. Tsunami waves were also recorded thousands of miles away along the United States' West Coast, in Peru, New Zealand and Japan.
In Peru, at least two people died after being swept up by high waves.
No mass casualties have yet been reported, but aid organizations are concerned about contaminated air and access to clean water for people in Tonga's outlying islands.
With communications down, Australia and New Zealand sent flights to survey the damage.
Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/17/asia/tonga-volcanic-eruption-tsunami-explainer-intl-hnk/index.html