Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami 2022

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Aerial view of Niuafo’ou volcano in Tonga
gokturk_06/Shutterstock

In January 2022, a submarine volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami in the Pacific island state of Tonga. The volcano created a powerful shock wave and displaced huge amounts of water, triggering a far-flung tsunami that raced across the vast Pacific Ocean and reached as far as the coasts of Japan and the Americas.

Despite successful disaster preparedness and response measuers in place, the event demonstrated the compound and cascading risks features of these hazards, calling for strengthening of the regional disaster risk management. Solutions may include a better understanding and communication of hazards and risk, early warning for volcanoes, and critical infrastructure redundancy.

A “back-projection” technique reveals new details of the volcanic eruption in Tonga that literally shook the world.
Hokkaido University
Damage from volcanic eruption and tsunanami - Sopu, Tonga 16 January 2022
Quantifying human responses to disasters could improve preparation for future threats, scientists say.
Eos - AGU
15 January 2022 the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano eruption was felt across the Pacific Ocean and beyond, releasing energy equivalent to hundreds of Hiroshima nuclear explosions and creating supersonic air pressure waves that were observed from space
United Nations University
New research reveals more about the magnitude of January eruption, as researchers call for better preparedness
University of Bath
Earthquake wave and circle vibration
Using data from the eruption of the Tonga underwater volcano, a research group at Nagoya University has used disturbances in the earth’s upper atmosphere to track the airwaves that cause tsunami. Their findings may lead to speedier tsunami predictions.
EurekAlert
The city of Nukualofa in Tonga.
The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in January 2022 was a stark reminder of how telecommunications preparedness can mean the difference between silence and life-saving response.
World Food Programme
Street in Nuku'alofa on Tongatapu island, Tonga.
Tonga’s experience after trialing an Impact Analysis methodology on the groyne structure at Hahake District and the rock barrier at Ahau village has been shared with other countries to inform the work in measuring the progress of climate change adaptation
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme
BASE is finalising a feasibility study for the development of a remittance-based finance vehicle in Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu that enables remittance senders to channel part of their remittances towards climate resilient solutions.
BASE
Tonga’s underwater eruption hints at need for more seismic stations near such active, submarine volcanoes located near populated parts of the Pacific.
Temblor
Truck on a post-disaster reconstruction site on a tropical coast
Apart from the Sendai Framework, Tonga can learn from Fiji’s rebuilding efforts after Cyclone Winston hit the country in 2016. Like Tonga, Fiji suffered from widespread power and infrastructure and communications destruction.
Climate Adaptation Platform