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Tonga: South Seas country has a new island after a volcanic eruption

2022-09-25T14:34:27.757Z

After the eruption of the underwater volcano Home Reef in the South Pacific, a new island has formed north of the main island of Tonga. But the landmass could quickly disappear again.



Enlarge image

Activity of the Home Reef underwater volcano on September 14.

Photo: HANDOUT/AFP

The underwater volcano with the English name Home Reef (home reef) is very productive.

As early as 1994 and 2006, new islands of cooled lava had formed after its eruptions.

Their cliffs reached up to a height of 70 meters - but they disappeared again soon afterwards.

This could also happen to the new island that the island nation of Tonga in the South Pacific has had for a few days.

Home Reef has been erupting lava flows again since September 10th.

As the geological service of the archipelago announced on Sunday, about eleven hours after the eruption, about 250 kilometers from the main island of Tongatapu, a new area of ​​land had formed above the water surface.

In the days that followed, the island continued to grow rapidly, according to measurements by the authority.

Ten days after the start of the eruption, the area of ​​the island had already increased eightfold.

It currently stands 15 meters tall and is about 211 meters long and 218 meters wide, which corresponds to an area of ​​about 35,000 square meters above the water, according to the Geological Survey on its Facebook page.

The Tonga archipelago, located about 2,300 kilometers northeast of New Zealand in the Pacific, includes about 170 islands.

More than a quarter of the 107,000 inhabitants live in the capital, Nuku'alofa.

At the turn of the year 2014-2015, a month-long eruption of the Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano 65 kilometers north of Nuku'alofa also created a new, two-kilometer-long island.

In another massive eruption in early 2022, the island disappeared again.

bor/dpa

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-09-25

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