Tonga Volcanic Eruption 500 Times More Powerful than the Hiroshima Bomb

Faye Higbee
tonga

The Tonga Volcanic Eruption from Saturday literally destroyed every home on Mango Island, as well as damaged many on the other islands in the chain. The ash fall poisoned the water supply for the islands, and a tsunami of 49 foot waves crashing over the island nation destroyed many other homes and structures. According to science websites, the eruption was at least 500 times more powerful that the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in WWII. The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano was once barely visible, now is destroyed.

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What we saw above the water, that has now been destroyed, was only the tip of a volcano that had grown on the rim of the massive underwater volcano.

Monash University volcanologist Heather Handley

Hundreds of Tongan troops swept their airport runway of volcanic ash this week so that relief supply flights could land. They began landing on Wednesday from Australia, New Zealand, and China. The flights will bring shelter, hygiene kits, PPE for people clearing ash, water containers, & other supplies to support immediate needs.

The food supply is destroyed, so the small islands will be facing a massive food shortage. The water is contaminated. Add to that the single cable (about the size of a garden hose) that once connected the islands to the rest of the world was severed in the eruption. Though telephone links were restored on Wednesday, internet may be out for a month or more until the repair ship arrives.

The tsunami from the Tonga volcanic eruption hit Peru, and caused an oil spill that the government is calling an ecological disaster. Some effects of the waves were felt in Oregon and California as well, but the waves wereo nly about 3 feet high.

The Tonga volcanic eruption may have effects for years to come, according to scientists.

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Featured screenshot from Geologist Alejandro Mendez

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