Asia PacificEnvironmentNews

Tsunami alerts after massive volcanic eruption near Tonga.


Hours after a massive volcanic eruption near Tonga, Tsunami reached Japan late Saturday and waves as high as three meters were possible, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

A 1.2 meter (about four feet) tsunami reached the remote southern island of Amami Oshima around 11:55pm (1455 GMT) Saturday before other areas along Japan’s Pacific coast observed slighter tsunami, agency added.

The eastern shores of northernmost Hokkaido Island as well as southwestern regions of Kochi and Wakayama also saw tsunami as high as 0.9 meters shortly after midnight, the agency said.

Japan National broadcaster switched to special programming and aired live footage from ports of affected regions and calling to evacuate the area. The footage showed no clear signs of abnormality.

A weather agency official told in a midnight news conference that radars had detected a tidal change higher than one meter after 11pm.

The agency didn’t immediately classify it as tsunami. However, it decided to activate the public tsunami warning systems to urge the evacuation of Amami residents.

“We don’t know at this point whether this is tsunami, but a strong tidal change has been observed, so we’re urging residents to respond,” the official told the press conference.

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