This amazing underground volcanic eruption began on March 16, 2009 just off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific.
Was it a sign for the massive earthquake on March 19, 2009?
This event, known as the 2009 Tonga undersea volcanic eruption, refers to ongoing volcanic activity of an underwater volcano situated near the island of Hunga Tonga, which is part of the active Pacific Ring of Fire.
Although the crater of this volcano lies several hundred meters under the surface, plumes of ash and smoke were sent as high as 20 kilometres (12 mi) into the air.
This video shows how incredible these underwater eruptions look like:
Even more interesting is the fact that four days after the start of this underwater volcanic eruption, a massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the area. Is there a direct link between both events?
No confirmation of a direct link has been ever confirmed. But USGS scientists say it makes sense. The strength of the earthquake could have indeed cracked the volcano’s (undersea) vent and allow more magma to be ejected. Just for you to remember, on March 21, 2009, so just two days after the strong quake two vents created a new island of hundreds of square metres, just 300m offshore of Hunga Haʻapai.