Underwater Volcanic Eruption in Tonga Sinks One Island and Creates Another Three Times Larger

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An undersea volcanic eruption in the Tongan archipelago has sunk one island and created another one that is three times larger.

The new island is estimated to be about 100 meters wide (328ft) and 400 metres long (1,312ft), and is situated about 120 meters (393ft) west of its now-submerged predecessor.

An undersea volcanic eruption in the Tongan archipelago has sunk one island and created another one that is three times larger
An undersea volcanic eruption in the Tongan archipelago has sunk one island and created another one that is three times larger. Map by AFP via ArabNews

The upheaval followed an 18-day undersea eruption last month in an area prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.

The new island lies between Kao and Late in the Pacific island nation’s northern Ha’apai group of islands.

An undersea volcanic eruption in the Tongan archipelago has sunk one island and created another one that is three times larger
Satellite imagery shows, on the left, gases spewing from the underwater volcano. In the right-hand image the large green dot is the new island that has been created, next to the island that has now disappeared. Images via The Guardian

Tonga sits on the notorious Ring of Fire, an area of frequent seismic activity in the Pacific ocean and which is responsible for about 90% of the world’s earthquakes.

In late 2014 the eruption of an undersea volcano created another Tongan island that is now home to plants and birdlife.

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